To borrow a phrase from long-time College GameDay analyst/mascot-head enthusiast Lee Corso, not so fast. The Joe Burrow hype train has chugged along unimpeded this offseason, gathering strength as the projected top pick’s draft-night coronation looms ever closer. While most of his QB counterparts labored through a rigorous week of Combine testing, the reigning Heisman winner barely broke a sweat in Indy, taking a well-deserved breather while letting his impeccable college film speak for itself.
Burrow’s Combine-week itinerary consisted of stepping on a scale (he weighed in at a healthy 221 pounds), stepping off and … not much else. Maybe he perused Zillow to see what properties are available in Cincinnati (hammering away at the keyboard with his laughable baby hands), where Burrow figures to begin his NFL career come April 23 at 8 PM ET.
But the stogie-puffing 23-year-old did find time Tuesday to chat up Colleen Wolfe and Andrew Hawkins of NFL Network. At one point during the interview, the subject turned to recent comments made by draft guru Daniel Jeremiah, who compared the LSU Tiger to one of the greatest to ever do it, Tom Brady. “I know comparisons get people all upset,” Jeremiah mused last week. “But when you watch them mechanically and you’re around their personalities, their leadership style, there’s a lot of similarities.”
The Ohio State transfer has never lacked for confidence on his path to the NFL, but even the swagger king Burrow wasn’t ready to make that monumental leap. “Please don’t compare me to the best player of all time,” Burrow begged. “Let me do my own thing. Don’t do that to me, please.”
Burrow’s pushback is understandable. Over the years, we’ve seen more than a few players succumb to the weight of unrealistic expectations—Johnny Manziel’s failed Browns stint immediately comes to mind. Armed with that knowledge, Burrow would prefer to leave flattering comparisons to other NFL greats (Lance Zierlein of NFL.com sees him as a Kurt Warner clone) at the door. “It is,” said Burrow, acknowledging the complementary nature of Jeremiah’s remarks.
“But it’s Tom Brady.”
Burrow’s electric 2019 was arguably one of the best college seasons on record, but obliterating the SEC clearly isn’t the same as capturing six Lombardi Trophies as Brady has done throughout his 20-year tenure in Foxboro. The Ohio native’s deference to Touchdown Tom is admirable, but at the same time … what else was he supposed to say? The Combine press junket is full of loaded questions and other bear traps designed to lull naïve draft prospects into a false sense of security, but props to Burrow for not taking the bait here.