Duke Tobin, the Bengals’ director of player personnel, said ESPN’s report that Cincinnati won’t trade the No. 1 pick no matter what is “news to me.”
“I don’t know that any decision has been made for what we’re going to do in April,” Tobin said Monday, via Geoff Hobson of the team website. “We’re early in the process. We certainly haven’t had any meetings to determine that at this point. Those will be meetings we’ll have as we go through the process.”
The Bengals hold the No. 1 overall choice by virtue of their 2-14 record. They are expected to target LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, but much can change over the next 94 days.
Tobin, the team’s de facto General Manager, called Burrow’s senior season “a wonderful year, a year very few people have had.”
Indeed, Burrow won the Heisman Trophy and national championship.
Only a week has passed since LSU beat Clemson in the national title game. That makes it understandable why Burrow chose not to play in the Senior Bowl, where the Bengals staff is coaching the South team.
“We’ve seen him,” Tobin said. “We’ll have a lot of opportunity to get to know him through the process. We feel very comfortable by the time we have to make a decision in the draft on him and the other players as well.
“We respect his decision. He’s had a incredibly long season. It lasted a lot longer than ours did. Fifteen games at a high level. I can certainly understand needing a little time to decompress after the year they had. We certainly understand what his thoughts there.”