LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday.
The first six picks included three quarterbacks — Burrow, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
Burrow went 15-0 and won the national championship with the Tigers. Now he gets a shot at turning around the Cincinnati Bengals, who went 2-14 and haven’t won a playoff game in three decades.
“I worked really hard to get here,” said Burrow, wearing a 740 shirt to represent his home area of southeast Ohio.
Commissioner Roger Goodell made the official announcement from his basement to kick off the virtual NFL draft with Burrow getting word from his parents’ home in The Plains, Ohio.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said the team didn’t consider any trade overtures and the franchise was in agreement on Burrow early in the process. Taylor said Thursday via teleconference that Burrow took complete ownership of the offense at LSU and he’s the total package.
“There’s a lot of things tangibly and intangibly that he brings to the table,” he said. “You see it with your own eyes — ability, leadership, he’s the total package.”
The Ohio State transfer and Heisman Trophy winner had an FBS-record 60 TD passes last season. He became the third player in three years to claim that trophy and emerge as the No. 1 pick in the following draft, following Oklahoma quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was the second pick to the Washington Redskins, who have amassed a defensive line comprising five first-round picks for first-year coach Ron Rivera. Young had 16.5 sacks last season as a junior.
Young’s defensive teammate, cornerback Jeff Okudah, went No. 3 to the Lions. Detroit traded Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles in March.
The fourth pick and first without a connection to the Buckeyes was Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas to the New York Giants at No. 4, before the Miami Dolphins used the first of their three first-round picks to select Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa’s durability — hip surgery, multiple ankle surgeries, a knee injury and broken finger — was a headline in recent months, but medical professionals signed off on his physical. Tagovailoa is an explosive runner with good feet, and the southpaw was accurate on throws down the field at Alabama.
Herbert spent four years at Oregon and goes to Los Angeles as the replacement for Philip Rivers.
—Field Level Media