Bengals make Joe Burrow the first overall pick in the 2020 draft

Getty Images

The Bengals didn’t waver, didn’t buckle, didn’t flinch.

Despite interest from the Dolphins, the Bengals stayed put at No. 1 and made LSU quarterback Joe Burrow the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Burrow, not expected to be a first-round pick after his first year in Baton Rouge, put together one of the best seasons for any college quarterback in 2019. He recently told #PFTPM that an offseason focus on getting his feet re-set during off-platform throws helped boost his accuracy, as reflected by a dramatic spike in completion percentage, yardage, and touchdowns.

The Dolphins wanted Burrow badly. It’s unclear what they offered by way of picks, but the broader effort included considerations like offering the Bengals cash (longstanding league policy prohibits it for player trades) and outside-the-box ideas like drafting a player the Bengals would want at No. 5, paying his signing bonus, trading him for Burrow, and paying Burrow’s signing bonus and contract.

Regardless, the Bengals held firm and took Burrow. By all appearances, he’s the real deal. And if he performs as expected, he’ll help turn around a Bengals team that hasn’t won a playoff game since January 1991.