Bengals clinch No. 1 pick in 2020 NFL Draft with OT loss to Dolphins
Sunday was the battle for the worst, as the Cincinnati Bengals came away with the 38-35 “win” (read: loss) against the Miami Dolphins in their Week 16 matchup, which clinched the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Bengals erased a 35-12 deficit in the fourth quarter and scored a miracle touchdown as time expired in regulation, only to lose the game on a 37-yard field goal by Jason Sanders as time expired in overtime:
Jason Sanders is GOOD from 37 yards out.
— NFL (@NFL) December 22, 2019
At 1-14 — with only a Week 17 bout with the Cleveland Browns on the schedule remaining — the Bengals have clinched the worst record in the NFL and now begin their search for a franchise savior with the first pick in the draft. That man could range from edge rusher Chase Young out of Ohio State, to Alabama star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, to Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
However, the likely and most obvious choice would be Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow out of LSU. The 23-year-old quarterback is an Ohio State transfer who set the college football world on fire with his otherworldly play in 2019. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy with 93.8% of the votes, leading the Tigers to a perfect 13-0 record and a College Football Playoff berth in the process. Burrow completed 342 passes for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2019.
Taking a quarterback makes all the sense in the world for Cincinnati. The Bengals, under first-year head coach Zac Taylor, saw a change under center already in 2019, with longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton benched starting in Week 9. However, the 32-year-old Dalton returned to the starting role by Week 13 due to the performance of backup Ryan Finley.
Should the Bengals draft Burrow at No. 1, they would be selecting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback with the first pick for the third consecutive year following Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield.