The Cincinnati Bengals barely built on their mere two-win 2019 this past season. They ended the year with four wins and a tie despite enjoying a refreshing burst of energy from 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
Burrow was among the most-raved prospects in recent history. At the time, he was the clear No. 1 pick. According to this writer, he’s still the clear No. 1 overall pick, but some re-drafts don’t have the same outlook.
As is with most drafts, highly talented players in the first round did turn heads, and Justin Herbert, the big-armed quarterback from Oregon, was one of them. Herbert won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Burrow had a solid shot at the award, but his Week 11 season-ending injury basically killed any chance he had. That said, if the Bengals went back in time, would they still draft Burrow?
They would pass on the LSU superstar according to CBS Sports’ most-recent re-draft.
“The Offensive Rookie of the Year lands in Cincinnati. His All-Pro upside is too enticing for him not to be the top pick,” CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso wrote.
Now, if you looks strictly at the numbers, you’d be dumb to not go with Herbert, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story as the Bengals offense line was completely absent, one reason Burrow finished tied for the tenth most sacks taken despite not playing after Week 11.
Herbert did showcase both arm strength and leadership that many didn’t think he would have, one he reason he fell out of the top five in the 2020 NFL Draft. His arsenal, especially his accurate deep ball, were impressive.
But, Burrow still has elite-level accuracy and should be able to elevate as a better quarterback over the long-term future. Either way, the debate between the two will go on far beyond just one reason.