The Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins know that prior to the 2019 college football season, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was seen as a late-round NFL Draft prospect. Fast forward a few months and Burrow is the unquestioned No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals would end up being the eventual winners of the sweepstakes for the Heisman Trophy winner as they currently sit with the No. 1 pick with less than a month to go after going 2-14 last season.
However, rumors have circulated that the Miami Dolphins — who have the fifth overall pick in the draft as well as picks 18 and 26 — could be interested in trading up to the top selection (presumably to select Burrow).
And while the potential haul that the Bengals would likely receive from Miami in this hypothetical deal would likely be immaculate, going through with such a trade would be a mistake.
For one, Burrow has the potential to be a franchise-changing talent for the Bengals. While he may not be the only player in the draft to carry that distinction, there’s a certain toughness, swagger and attitude that Burrow exudes that separates him from the rest of the field.
In arguably the best conference in college football, the 23-year-old quarterback lit up defenses unlike anything seen before in the history of the sport. The Bengals know Burrow can be a game-changer.
While leading the Tigers to an undefeated record and National Championship, Burrow completed an astounding 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Burrow was also able to do some damage on the ground with 368 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
While collegiate success definitely doesn’t always translate to NFL success, a 10:1 touchdown to interception ratio, a winning attitude and completing over three-fourths of his passing attempts is certainly hard to ignore.
Also, let’s not forget how big of a sensation Burrow was on both social media and traditional media this past season. If there’s a pick that’s going to generate some excitement, it’s Burrow. Additionally, having grown up in Ohio (and originally playing at Ohio State), the connection with Cincinnati is already there.
That’s not to say that Burrow wouldn’t sell jerseys if he went to a big city like Miami but you better believe there’s going to be a lot of Ohio natives lining up to get their Burrow Bengals jerseys.
All indications point to the Bengals scouts and front office really liking the LSU quarterback as both a player and a person so I don’t think the Dolphins rumors have a lot of steam. Regardless, if that offer is on the table and the Bengals accept it, Cincinnati will live to forget it for years to come.