2020 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine mock with Redskins trading down

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers reacts to a touchdown against Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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Joe Burrow

Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Let’s start with the obvious. It seems highly likely that the Bengals are taking a quarterback. And it seems very likely that quarterback will be Joe Burrow.

Entering the 2019 college football season, Burrow was viewed as a potential mid-round pick at best. He had been a decent starter for LSU during the previous season, his first as a starter, and it looked like he had the tools to be a good developmental project.

But then, Burrow took the field for the ’19 season. He caught fire and so did his draft stock.

Playing in LSU’s offense coached by Steve Ensminger and passing game wunderkind turned Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Burrow put up massive numbers. He completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, and six interceptions while leading LSU to a National Championship. And he was every bit as good as those numbers indicate.

The strides that Burrow made, especially regarding his accuracy, make him a top prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. The fact that he never really had a game in which he struggled during LSU’s magnificent season and his calm, cool, collected leadership ability indicate that he should translate well to the NFL and has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback.

Of course, there are some concerns with Burrow. He really is a one-year wonder at quarterback and it’s fair to ponder if parting with Brady will impact him. Additionally, it could take him some extra time to develop at the NFL level, much like it did during the course of his five years combined at Ohio State and LSU.

Still, Burrow seems to have the “it” factor that teams look for at quarterback. He’s accurate, composed, and while he may not have the best arm strength, he can get the ball where it needs to go. He is the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick and barring a surprise, he should don a striped helmet in 2020.

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