Joe Burrow might be one of the few people in the world that's enjoying 2020 thus far.
Just over three months after leading LSU to a 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football National Title Game, the Cincinnati Bengals made Burrow the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft Thursday evening.
Though he found his college success at LSU, Burrow now heads back to the state of Ohio, a place that he has deep roots in.
The 23-year-old attended Athens High School in The Plains, Ohio from 2011-12 to 2014-15. In three seasons as the starting quarterback for Athens, Burrow led the team to a 37-4 record, while racking up 157 touchdown passes and 11,416 passing yards. In 977 passing attempts in his high school career, Burrow was picked off just 17 times. For good measure, he added in 2,067 rushing yards during his varsity career.
Burrow hoped to continue his college career in the Buckeye state, but his time playing with the Ohio State Buckeyes didn't yield the chance to prove himself that he yearned for, so after three seasons in the program, Burrow transferred to LSU ahead of the 2018 season.
Though he flashed some potential in his redshirt junior season, Burrow didn't entrench himself as the No. 1 overall quarterback in his class until putting together arguably the most dominant individual season in the history of college football as a fifth-year senior.
Now, Burrow finds himself back in Ohio, as he looks to revive a Bengals franchise that is coming off of a 2-14 season and hasn't won a playoff game since 1990. He'll join an offense that isn't short on skill-position talent, with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and Joe Mixon. Time will tell if Burrow can find sustained success in an organization that is over 80 games under .500 in their history.
Here's everything you need to know about the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft:
Measurables: 6'3, 221 pounds
2019 Stats: 5,671 passing yards; 60 touchdowns; six interceptions
Accolades: 2019 Heisman Trophy, 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Offensive MVP, 2019 Maxwell Award, 2019 Manning Award, 2019 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, 2019 Walter Camp Award, 2019 AP College Football Player of the Year Award, 2019 All-American, 2019 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, 2019 First-Team All SEC
Strengths: Though it's hard to quantify exactly what type of effect it will have, Burrow brings an unabashed confidence to an organization that badly needs it. Joe Marino of The Draft Network compares him to former Dallas' Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, saying that "blend of accuracy, ability to handle pressure, mechanics and mental processing skills are all bluechip traits that make him NFL ready."
Weaknesses: Because Burrow used all five years of his NCAA eligibility, he's actually slightly older than some entrenched NFL starting quarterbacks, such as Lamar Jackson and Daniel Jones...Perhaps there could be some concern that he only had one truly great college season, but when he did, it may have literally been the greatest NCAA season we've ever seen...NFL.com's Lance Zierlein says that Burrow has "below average arm strength."
Player Comparison: Tony Romo
Joe Marino and Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network both compare Burrow to former Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo, a comp we like. Romo wasn't ever the best quarterback in the NFL, but there were weeks where he could go throw-for-throw with Peyton Manning and some of the game's best. He had a gamer-like quality to him, one that you see when you watch Burrow play. The difference is that Romo unquestionably came up small in a slew of major late-season games in his career. Based off of Burrow's performance in the College Football Playoff National Championship, we don't get the sense that will be an issue for the new Bengal.