The Cincinnati Bengals have put together a strong offensive unit for rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
Taking him with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have turned the keys to their franchise over to former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow is coming off of one of the most impressive seasons in college football history and has the skill set needed to be a tremendous long-term franchise quarterback for the Bengals.
This is now Burrow’s team and he will come in and immediately start as a rookie. Highly drafted rookie quarterbacks who come in and immediately start are often put in a tough position to succeed early in their careers. A young quarterback coming to a bad NFL team is not typically a strong recipe for success. That being said, the Cincinnati Bengals have done a nice job of building a talented and well-rounded offense and the strengths of Joe Burrow fit their weaknesses well.
The Bengals have a nice group of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, especially when one considers that they went 2-14 last season. A.J. Green missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury, but he is undoubtedly still a gifted receiver who can make an impact. With his impressive combination of size, speed and ball skills, do not be surprised if Green has a big 2020 season with Burrow throwing him the ball.
Tyler Boyd also returns as a premier option in the passing game for Burrow. Boyd is a silky smooth slot receiver who consistently finds open space in the middle of the field and has some nice run after catch ability. Boyd is coming off of back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons with the Bengals and will likely be a fantastic playmaker for Burrow in his first season.
After taking Burrow in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals immediately found him another weapon in the passing game in the second. With the 33rd overall pick, Cincinnati took wide receiver Tee Higgins, a big and athletic playmaker out of Clemson. Higgins does not separate particularly well, but he has a wide catch radius and is strong in contested-catch situations. Burrow will undoubtedly benefit from having a big jump-ball target like Higgins on the outside.
A quarterback’s best friend is a strong rushing attack and Joe Mixon has grown into one of the premier running backs in the NFL in recent years. Mixon is a fantastic weapon on the ground and as a pass-catcher for the Cincinnati Bengals and will undoubtedly be an important player for Joe Burrow early in his career.
The Bengals have enough offensive playmakers for Burrow to have immediate success. If all of these guys can stay healthy, Burrow will have his choice of talented pass-catchers to work with in the passing game. The only real concern with this Cincinnati offense is the offensive line.
Offensive line could be improved but is still a major concern.
This Bengals’ offensive line is filled with major questions across the board. Last year’s first-round pick Jonah Williams is fully expected to take over left tackle duties, but will the repaired torn labrum in his left shoulder hurt his play?
Williams is undoubtedly a talented offensive lineman who can help protect Burrow, but we do not know exactly what to expect out of him and the rest of the unit is a bit of a mess. The Bengals hope that some combination of Mike Jordan, Trey Hopkins, Billy Price and Xavier Su’a-Filo can take care of the interior, while Bobby Hart or Fred Johnson handles right tackle duties. Simply put, this offensive line is the obvious weakness of the Bengals’ offense.
Burrow will have more than enough offensive weapons at his disposal, but he can expect shaky protection at least during his rookie season. That is obviously less than ideal for any quarterback, let alone a rookie, but Joe Burrow may be the best quarterback for this situation in recent memory.
Burrow showed incredible natural pocket presence in college, feeling pressure at an extremely high level and finding his way out of sticky situations many times. He senses pressure extremely well and has the athleticism to escape at any time. Every quarterback would love to have a clean pocket, but Burrow deals with pressure better than any quarterback prospect in recent memory.
When it comes down to it, the Cincinnati Bengals’ current offensive situation fits Burrow well. Their inability to protect Burrow is obviously a major concern, but he should be able to handle the pressure well and he has guys who can consistently make plays for him all over the field.
Joe Burrow is an extremely talented quarterback and is the right guy to lead the Bengals in 2020 and beyond. Expect a big rookie year from him and sustained success from the quarterback position throughout his career.