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2020 NFL Draft: LSU QB Joe Burrow Player Profile and Analysis

Joe Burrow, the son of a coach Jimmy Burrow, grew up in a southeastern Ohio town (Athens, Ohio). Burrow was a pro-style 4-star QB recruit coming out of high school according to 247 sports composite, with two significant offers, Ohio State and Boston College. Burrow ultimately chose his home state Buckeyes, where he attempted 39 passes in two seasons playing behind J.T. Barrett in 2016 and was third-string behind both Barrett and Dwayne Haskins in 2017. Burrow would enter the transfer portal after the 2017 season and would land in the bayou at LSU. Burrow had an okay/average 2018 season posting 2894 passing yds, 16 TD's, and 5 Ints on 379 attempts. Burrow looked like a game manager in 2018, and some scouts projected Burrow to go undrafted before the start of the 2019 season.

The Joe Brady Effect

Joe Brady LSU

Joe Brady revolutionized the LSU Tiger pass offense in a hurry by installing elements he had brought with him from his time as an offensive assistant under New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. The LSU offense went from a middling pass attack among all teams in 2018 to the best in college football history, producing a Biletnikof winning WR (Jamar Chase) and a Heisman winning QB (Joe Burrow). 2018 LSU offense LSU averaged 402 TOTAL yds per game and ranked 69th in the nation. In 2019, the LSU PASS OFFENSE averaged 401.6 yds per game. Again, LSU averaged 401.6 yds PASSING in 2019 vs. their entire offensive per game average of 402 yds per game the year prior.

Joe Burrow, in the right spot at the right time

Joe Burrow is the top QB prospect entering the 2019 NFL draft. In 2019, Burrow broke several records at LSU throwing for 5671 yds and 60 TD's ranking 1st nationally in both categories. He posted the nation's top QB rating (201.96).

Burrow is projected as the top NFL prospect by many and expected to be drafted 1st overall in the 2020 NFL Draft and for a good reason. He displays good accuracy while also throwing a catchable ball. He demonstrates good decision-making ability and has decent enough athleticism to extend plays. Needs to improve his release time and enhance his post-snap progression from half field to full-field reads.


He buys time for himself inside the pocket, but creates explosive, off-schedule plays outside of it with his arm or legs. He throws with staggering precision and timing, but he recognizes his own arm-strength constraints and is forced to shrink the field accordingly.

Joe Burrow Strengths

  • Pinpoint accuracy

  • High IQ player

  • Plays with great pocket poise and pocket presence

  • Manipulates safeties with his eyes

  • Deceptive athleticism can use legs to create

Joe Burrow Weaknesses

  • Average arm strength

  • Takes unnecessary sacks

  • Needs to improve his ability to scan the entire field (Cannot rely on half-field reads)

  • Might be scheme reliant

  • Needs to improve intermediate reads

Burrow vs top 25 opponents

In 2019, Burrow faced a gauntlet of opponents in the SEC and then the CFB Playoffs. In 7 games vs. top 25 opponents, burrow compiled an entire season worth of stats, 2783 yards on 270 attempts completing 75% of his throws for 27 TD's and only 2 Ints. He posted a 193.29 QBR and ranked 1st nationally in yards, TD's, Yds per Game, and QBR among all QBs.

  • vs top 25 opponents in 2019: QBR: 193.29 (1st), yds per Att. 10.3 (2nd)

  • vs non-top 25 opponents in 2019: QBR 211.08 (3rd), yds per att. 11.2 (3rd)


Burrow will be the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft headed to the Cincinnati Bengals. Burrow has been compared to Tony Romo (PFF) and Kurt Warner ( He doesn't have many weaknesses, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the speed of an NFL defense while leading the current set of Bengals offensive personnel. The Bengals should install some of the same pass game elements that Joe Brady installed at LSU to help ease Burrow into the league.


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