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Is Joe Burrow NFL ready?
Joe Burrow has what scouts love. Confidence, precision, the ability to take charge. However, there is still the question if he can translate his game to an NFL level, and in this article I will be analyzing the Heisman winner, seeing if he’s ready for the pros.
You cannot deny the accuracy Joe Burrow has, completing 78% of his passes this season while also dropping 60 touchdowns, a stat that led all of FBS.
Burrow puts his passes where he wants them and is able to throw into very tight spaces. He has a feel for the quarterback position that is incapable to teach. A lot of his success this season came from LSU turning their run-oriented offense into Burrow’s offense, which paid off. Burrow has a nice release of the ball and knows how to read a defense very well for a college quarterback. However, the Ohio native doesn’t possess NFL level arm strength, but his accuracy has seemed to overshadow that this season.
Burrow is comfortable at the line, and recognizes his mismatches and takes full advantage of them. For instance, Burrow has involved multiple wideouts into the game this season and made them potential first-rounders, players such as Thaddeus Moss, Justin Jefferson, and Ja'Marr Chase, have all evolved tremendously with Burrow as their quarterback.
Some of Burrow’s stats are inflated due to his offensive line. While watching him play this season, he had five to ten seconds to throw the ball, if not more. When he gets to the NFL (most likely Cincinnati), he is going to have a fraction of this time to find an open receiver, and it will definitely be a tough transition from going to college football’s best offensive to line to one of the NFL’s worst. Burrow has shown flashes where he can dazzle around defenders, but I haven’t seen enough to give him a true grade on his ability to throw under pressure, and this is about what I have seen, not what I haven’t.
Overall, Burrow’s accuracy is elite and he makes players around him much better. Despite his arm strength worries and is the offensive line, Burrow’s talent is still undeniable. He can throw a pass right on the money, and that's not something you can teach. I am going to give his passing rating a B+.
Joe Burrow has elite footwork. From his drop backs to ability to escape under pressure, Burrow has much better footwork than given credit for. Burrow is able to avoid sacks with ease (although he doesn’t get pressured much), and he’s also able to extend a play on the run. In his college career, Burrow ran for over 2000 yards, more than 600 of them coming from this past season.
For not having the best physical attributes, Burrow surprises a lot of people while out of the pocket.
His drop backs are also very smooth and he’s very relaxed while under center. He keeps his eyes downfield and is smart enough to know when not to escape.
Overall, his footwork is very clean, and he is able to extend a play very well. For a quarterback who lacks physical attributes, Burrow’s footwork is nearly flawless. I am going to give his footwork an A-.
In the NFL, especially if you’re going to a horrendous team, you better have some strong mental strength. To me, Burrow has shown extreme mental strength this season and he’s as cool as a cucumber under pressure. Burrow has ice in his veins, and it’s shown when he plays. He doesn’t let one bad play (which he didn’t have many of this season) get to him.
Burrow is confident in his ability, and that was shown during the National Championship. A lot of his big plays come from him having the courage and belief in himself to make the throw.
In summary, Burrow has insane mental strength that you rarely see in a quarterback coming out of college. Many people notice rookies having trouble finding themselves throughout the season, especially when they're losing, but Burrow doesn't fancy me to do that. Calm, collected, and determined, Burrow has all the mental attributes you look for in an NFL quarterback.I will grade his mental ability at an A.
Overall, Joe Burrow is a prospect like no other. Despite being 24 by the time he’s a rookie, I can’t see any team passing up on the option to draft Burrow. Many teams are even considering trying to trade up to get the services of the LSU quarterback, and it’ll definitely be a bidding war on draft night if any team wants to move up to the number one spot, currently held by the Washington Redskins.
I am not 100% in on Burrow, as he had one of the best teams in college football history around him, but as I said earlier, his talent is still undeniable. I am going to give his overall grade as a B. I think he has much more upside than downside and can become a real force in Cincinnati as long as they build around him. Coming into week one, expect him to be the starter and leading the huddle for whoever holds the number one pick when Rodger Goodell steps up to the podium, that be the Bengals or a team putting all their chips on the table to get Burrow.
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