Team source confirms Cincinnati Bengals 'are going to take' Joe Burrow first in NFL Draft

Tyler Dragon
Cincinnati Enquirer

A high-level Bengals source told The Enquirer in December that Joe Burrow was at the top of the team’s draft board. Burrow’s position on Cincinnati’s board has not and will not change.

The Bengals intend to draft Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, sources tell The Enquirer. It would take an astronomical trade offer for the Bengals to be persuaded otherwise, and the team doesn’t foresee that happening.

“We are going to take Burrow,” one Bengals source said.

The team hasn’t wavered from its stance despite speculation that Burrow might not want to come to Cincinnati. Meetings between Burrow and the Bengals during the draft evaluation process have all been upbeat and positive. Burrow’s been proactive, and he’s displayed a good football IQ in virtual conferences with the Bengals.

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"Specifically on Joe, what we believe and what we know is that he's got real leadership qualities and real football intellect. I think the game is extremely important to him and he loves the challenge of the preparation,” Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said. “It's the mark of a lot of good players. You have to really love the grind of preparing for a game. You have to really thrive off of that and those traits come across when you visit with Joe."

Coach Zac Taylor and the Bengals want to build a winner after posting an NFL-worst 2-14 record. The Bengals believe Burrow can help create a winning culture in Cincinnati after having one of the best individual seasons in college football history at LSU. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to an undefeated season and national championship his senior year.   

“You are taking who you believe is the best player in the draft. You never want to be picking here ever again. You put in a ton of work to make sure it’s the right player who performs the right way on the field, has all the attributes you’re looking for and off the field as well. A lot of homework has gone into it,” Taylor said. “We talked to a lot of players and feel very comfortable about where we are at for Thursday night."

The Bengals are comfortable with Burrow ushering in a new era in Cincinnati. Burrow is the team's QB of choice. On Thursday night, it'll be official.