The Cincinnati Bengals officially made Joe Burrow their franchise quarterback of the future, taking the LSU passer with the No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Cincinnati’s opening pick marks the initiation of North America’s first live sporting event since athletics were shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to social-distancing regulations, while ensuring the health and safety of all teams, prospects, and personnel involved, the draft is being carried out virtually, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the picks from his basement in Bronxville, NY.
Burrow was long-poised to be the top pick of the draft as soon as the Bengals secured the worst record in the NFL last season, going 2-14.
It has long been rumored that the franchise was looking to move on from having veteran Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback, considering the Bengals haven’t had a winning season since 2015.
They get the passer who was head-and-shoulders above the rest of the quarterbacking prospects in the class of 2020. Burrow had a phenomenal senior season at LSU, completing 76.3% of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 15 games.
After winning the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player, Burrow lifted LSU to its first national championship since 2007.
He becomes just the fourth quarterback ever to win the Heisman Trophy, national championship, and be the first overall pick of the NFL Draft in the same year, joining Angelo Bertelli (Notre Dame) in 1944, Leon Hart (Notre Dame) in 1950, and Cam Newton (Auburn) in 2011.
Locally, the New York Giants stand to make the No. 4 pick of the night while the Jets pick 11th.