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Would You?

Come on yea or nay?

SEC Championship - Georgia v LSU Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

You are the GM of the New York Jets, and for this exercise you have the 11th pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The pick number is really irrelevant.

The Jets have seven picks in the upcoming draft with a pair of third round selections (an additional 3rd round selection from the NY Giants in the Leonard Williams trade) but no 7th round selection, which was traded for Alex Lewis. (I believe this was a great deal.)

Cincinnati calls and says, “Hey, Joe Douglas stand in guy, I will trade you the #1 pick in the draft straight up for Sam Darnold. What do you say?

You jump from #11 to #1, and all it costs you is the future of your franchise. Do you say yea or nay? It might not be as easy as you may think as you would retain all your picks with the ability to draft Joe Burrow.

Cincinnati has a young coach in Zac Taylor who believes that Sam Darnold has the perfect skill set for his offense. Zac, along with QB coach Alex Van Pelt, feel they can iron out the wrinkles in Sam’s game and give him the type of platform he needs to succeed. They admit they are giving up the QB from LSU and want to put all their eggs in one basket in Sam.

You would be basically resetting your timeline as an organization, putting your (Joe Douglas’) guys front and center. It gives you a 5 (the length of Joe Burrow’s rookie contract) year window to transform your team into a winner for the long haul.

You would still have pick #11 to trade for more picks or invest on an offensive lineman or edge rusher. The difference is you would have a rookie QB while your seasoned (3rd) year guy is off to Cincinnati.

So who is Joe Burrow other than the Heisman Trophy winner? (In the NFL that means little. Many Heisman winning QBs, White, Leinart, Smith, Weinke, Wuerffel, Torretta, Detmer, Tebow, Manziel and so on haven’t made it.) Why would you trade your established ascending QB (who is only a baby at 22) to another franchise to select Joe Burrow, a one year wonder?

Let us take a look....

We all know who Sam Darnold is as we have watched him these last two years. He is a quality kid who has worked behind a shoddy offensive line and been taught by a poor collection of coaches his entire life. He is smart and tough with a winning attitude but questionable weapons to make him a viable superstar. He also has poor technical fundamentals that might limit his ceiling. He is in need of a head coach and QB coach who can capitalize on his immense talent to make him a star.

You would need to replace your QB so you would want the highest rated QB prospect so who is this kid Joe Burrow who couldn’t get off the bench at Ohio State and was beaten out by Dwayne Haskins?

Joe Burrow is a son of a football coach, a good football coach. Just by saying that you know he is a tough kid because most sons of a coach get exceptionally grueling instruction. Jimmy Burrow (Joe’s dad) had a coaching career that lasted over 40 years. He played at Nebraska, in the NFL, and in the CFL. Joe’s dad was a football lifer.

Joe Burrow was born in Iowa when he is father was the on the staff at Iowa State. Joe has two step brothers (Jimmy and Dan) from his dad’s first marriage who are quite a bit older. Both his brothers played football at Nebraska, as did his father Jimmy who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 8th round of the 1976 Draft.

Jimmy Burrow (Joe’s Dad) played in only 3 games as a cornerback for the Packers. He moved to the Canadian Football League where he played with the Montreal Alouettes, Calgary Stampeders, and Ottawa Rough Riders. He was an All-Star in 1978 and 1979. During his 5 year stint in Canada he played in 3 Grey Cups and winning a championship.

Jimmy Burrow was the defensive coordinator at Ohio University for 14 years until he retired in early 2019 to have the chance to watch his son play at LSU in person. “Counting my playing days, Aug. 1 of this year was the first Aug. 1 in 51 years that I haven’t been on a practice field either as a player or as a coach. That’s a long time. Aug. 1 was weird.” Jimmy Burrow said. “I didn’t want to miss Joe’s senior year.”

When Joe was 5 he watched his brother Jimmy play middle linebacker in the Rose Bowl with the Cornhuskers. His father was an assistant at Nebraska. A year later Joe began playing football as a QB because no one else on the team could play the position. All the other members of his family were all defensive players,. He was used to playing a physical game of football. His brother Jimmy echoed those comments, “He had no choice, we weren’t going to let him not play physical.”

His father and mother told him the virtues of sliding instead taking on tacklers. “There are better things to do than to try to run through a SEC defensive player,” his father said. “But that’s his mentality. The physical nature of his play will always be a part of that. So you let that be. Now, I’m not going to tell you that I might say, ‘Why did you make that throw?’ Or, ‘You really don’t need to show off that toughness all the time.’ That happened with us all the way with him growing up.”

Joe grew up near Athens, Ohio, (not exactly a big stage) and lead his team (as a QB) into 3 straight playoff appearances. He won the first 7 Playoff victories in school history. He was awarded the 2014 Mr. Ohio and Ohio Gatorade player of the year award as a senior.

Joe redshirted his first year at Ohio State and spent the next two years behind J.T Barrett. Joe played in only 10 games during that time completing 29 of 39 passes for 287 yards and 2 TDs with zero interceptions. He was told that the following year Dwayne Haskins would be the starter so Joe decided to transfer. He had already graduated from Ohio State in 3 years with a degree in consumer and family services. He was eligible to transfer and play again in the upcoming season. He wanted to play in a place where he could compete for a National Championship so he chose LSU.

After spring practice Joe was named the starting QB for the 2018 season. He had a solid year throwing for 2,894 yards, 16 TDs and only 5 INTs. He added 399 rushing yards and an additional 7 rushing TDs. Joe felt he played well but would need to be much better if he was to win a championship. He would need to work harder and get a little help.

Well he did work hard, and that help came to him in the form of Joe Brady who was signed in January of 2019 from the New Orleans Saints to be the passing game coordinator. Brady brought an extensive knowledge of the run-pass option (RPO) game to the Tigers. Brady is a young guy (He graduated from William & Mary in 2013.) and smart. He was selected an Academic All Conference player twice in schol. Brady began coaching right after graduation at William & Mary for two years then went on to Penn State. From there he spent two years on Sean Peyton’s staff in New Orleans working with Pete Carmichael and Drew Brees. Brady is a fast riser in the coaching profession and is destined to be an offensive coordinator in the near future.

That LSU offense became a juggernaut overnight and took the SEC by storm. Make no mistake. It was an offense directed by a very impressive quarterback who took the SEC by storm. Burrow earned the respect of his team a play at a time as a junior, establishing his leadership of the team. Then with the help of a new offensive wrinkle that fit his skill set the offense exploded.

Let’s take a look...

Does he have a pro arm?

This is such an impressive throw. Everything is done to perfection. He gets a great drop from the snap and looks off the safety in the middle of the field to give his receiver the ability to escape coverage. He sticks his foot in the ground and pushes off using great weight transfer. He rotates his hips slightly as he turns and throws a laser downfield over the coverage man. This is a 42 yard in the air throw to the boundary, and it is thrown on a rope.

Some people are lucky to be able to go to a symphony and have the innate ability to hear each instrument individually during the concerto. To distinguish each note from each instrument is a joy. All the aspects of this play are there. Each individual player on offense playing their part is my symphony. I just see it instead of hear it. In any form the symphony is a beautiful thing to behold.

Let’s see the same type play only this time down the seam with a defender right in the line of fire. These are the throws you have to make in the NFL to be successful. Also that is Justin Jefferson the WR on the play. He was considered a 2 star prospect coming out of high school (which is low for a Division I program) making the play.

I made this clip so you can watch the 4 key elements of the play.

1) The drop and weight transfer during the throw, excellent.

2) The coverage, also excellent. When you have to turn and run with a receiver who is coming straight at you it is important to be in trail coverage.

3) The accuracy, spot on, put in a place only the receiver can catch it, on target and easy to catch.

4) The catch, made easier as the receiver times his jump well to elevate over the defender.

Here is another play that is a joy to watch. Every aspect is done well. This was a big game for both teams with emotions running high. To be able to stay calm while executing plays with great timing is an aspect of football fans don’t appreciate enough. The emotions are riding really high down on the field with players talking trash and yelling. To keep your head and execute well in a hostile environment shows incredible composure.

Let’s see how Joe does when he is rushed. In the NFL getting to the QB is an art form that many players have mastered so you have to be able to feel the rush without seeing it;, something that Mark Sanchez never ever had.

This again is just some brilliant work as Joe moves around the rush without ever taking his eyes off the downfield receivers. He quickly moves out of the pocket and resets his feet before he throws. He has been coached well. (Thanks Dad!) Also notice the quick release once he wants to let the ball go. He sort of looks like Brett Favre in this GIF. Again it is a perfect throw, on time 45 yards downfield, just excellent.

That was moving left, how about moving right?

This is nice as well, he stays in the pocket until flushed out, but you notice the calm in his play. He is not in a rush even when rushed. He escapes to the right and motions to his player to come back to him. He does this with a great calmness. He has such utter confidence in himself he never seems rattled.

Let’s see that again. This time it is on the road against Ole Miss. You see he looks left at first knowing the route he wants is a slow developing double move. He is waiting for his man to clear the safety, and the look to the left does the trick.

He escapes outside with ease, gets himself into great throwing position, and almost effortlessly flings a ball 50 yards in the air on a rope right on target. Again notice the quick release as he cocks the ball and throws in rhythm. He has an innate sense of when and where to escape and the timing to do so without disrupting the play. Many QBs escape, and the entire offense is in scramble mode. Time and again Burrow is able to keep the original play alive, finding open receivers.

So how tough is this guy?

Joe is also a tough guy. This type of play will show you how the tough guy Joe Burrow won over his teammates when he was a junior.

This is a 3rd and 12 play against rival Auburn. It is the first play of the 2nd quarter with his team down by 3. LSU needs a play, something to spark the offense against a riled up defense.

This is a viscous hit into the Auburn bench. The Auburn players are all clapping and laughing about the hit. Javaris Davis #13 is talking smack about his tackle, trying to intimidate Burrow. Tight end Thaddeus Moss #81 comes over to help Burrow to his feet, but Burrow doesn’t need assistance. He jumps to his feet like nothing happened. He did what he needed to do and got the 1st down.

Now look at the next GIF.

Notice the time and score. It is less than 5 minutes later, LSU has the lead with the ball back in their possession looking for more. It’s the same type situation, 3rd down and 1 yard to go, and Burrow is chased from the pocket.

Burrow has no one open so he has to make it on his own again. He has little room since he is being squeezed to the sideline, and #13 Javaris Davis is loading up to lay another pasting on Burrow. Joe needs the 1st down. He is big enough to take on Davis but is wise enough to use common sense. For LSU to win this game they need Joe Burrow in the lineup, Auburn can win with or without Javaris Davis.

I like how Burrow kind of puts his shoulder out there like there is going to be a collision then smartly takes it away with a spin move which makes Davis to miss the stick and fly on by. Burrow is not afraid of contact and is a tough guy, but he has the sense to avoid trouble instead of trying to be a superman. He shows good decision making and common sense.

A team has to believe in their quarterback to be successful in the NFL. Your Quarterback should be smart, tough and be able to make plays. He should have an aura of star power. This next GIF is the media guide developed by the players for the LSU team.

It says “One team, one heartbeat,” and who is in the center of that heartbeat? The players just began to believe in Joe Burrow long before any Heisman talk was even thought about.

He fills his teammates with confidence. In this short last clip Joe is talking to the media about the #1 ranking and being the front runner for the national title when they were afterthoughts at the beginning of the season.

On how they were going to win:

“Oh I’m just some quarterback from Ohio who came in, Clyde (5’ 8” RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire) nobody wanted him, Justin Jefferson a two star recruit, Thad Moss-transfer, me transfer,” He says, “I told ya, nobody believed me but I told ya.”

To say Joe Burrow had a monster year is an understatement and, he is not done yet. No matter how this ends he has rewritten the record books for the SEC. As I have shown you his passes are not dump off throws. These are laser beam shots down the field and to have a near 78% completion is unbelievable.

Actually Joe Burrow has been doing this for a long time. His coach in 6th grade had him running a shotgun offense with double slots, which is complex. Remember, Joe also comes from a football family so he was exposed to very intricate football playbooks at an early age.

When they asked his high school coach if he was surprised by the level of production that Joe Had in the SEC his response was, “Surprised? No, he was doing the same thing when he was a sophomore in high school. Everyone here knew he was going to be great in college; we were just surprised it took so long”

If you have seen his Heisman speech (If not, Google it.) you know he is a humble and thoughtful person. He is the perfect face of a franchise and now has a pulpit for future acts of kindness if he feels the need to do so.

Joe Burrow is just an impressive kid.

His latest effort was a 493 yard, 7 TD performance (in 3 quarters) in the Peach Bowl, an impressive destruction of a quality team in Oklahoma who didn’t have the talent to keep up.

Back to the question. One final thing to consider is even though Sam Darnold is completing his 2nd year in the NFL he is still younger that Joe Burrow by about 6 months. Crazy, huh?

So what do you say to the Bengals? Yes or No?


Would you trade Sam Darnold straight up for the #1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    1) Yes
    (246 votes)
  • 50%
    2) No
    (251 votes)
497 votes total Vote Now

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