The hype surrounding Joe Burrow entering the NFL is unmatched. Whether it was his .893 winning percentage, 60 passing touchdowns, or the 5,671 passing yards he had in college — all of it has built up huge expectations. The anticipation to see Burrow play in the NFL is equatable to the anticipation to see Tom Brady play in a Buccaneers jersey alongside Rob Gronkowski.
This is looking to be a Johnny Manziel situation — despite the two quarterbacks’ differences (Manziel won the Heisman at an earlier age and never won a national championship). Both are great quarterbacks that have been considered the savior of a franchise, but unfortunately, the 2020-2021 Cincinnati Bengals are going to need some divine intervention to be a competitive team next season, even with Burrow! This is posing a major threat to the rookie’s future NFL career.
Putting a rookie quarterback in an impossible situation is very demoralizing to their overall confidence in their skills. This is because the massive public expectation starts to creep into their head. Even performing at a high level himself, Burrow will still be on a team where not many teammates (if any) are competing at the level that he is. Football is a team sport, and victories cannot be only built around one player. And if the team loses, the public will blame it on Burrow. People just like to blame losses on quarterbacks, and Joe Burrow will not be the exception. He will become so self-conscious about the pressure — letting it get to his head, that it will cause him to mess up. Will he be able to shake it off? It’s really hard to say.
Joe Burrow has had one good college season, so he hasn’t established any long-term consistency yet. In his junior season, Burrow threw 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Then in his senior season, he threw 60 touchdowns and had 6 interceptions. I’m not the best mathematician but a 1/10 interception to touchdown ratio is a lot different than a 1/3 ratio.
Joe Burrow showed major improvement in college, but it is important to recognize that even the best quarterbacks in the league needed time to learn behind a veteran quarterback. Did Patrick Mahomes start his rookie season? No. Did Lamar Jackson start his rookie season? No. Did Tom Brady start his rookie season? Not even close!
The Bengals will soon regret releasing Andy Dalton. He would’ve been a great mentor for Burrow and would have given him a little boost into a NFL veteran quarterback’s experience and knowledge that he will no longer be able to obtain as an incoming rookie.
Don’t get me wrong, Burrow could surprise (or maybe not surprise) us by leading the Bengals to an incredible winning season as a rookie after their long winning drought. However, in my opinion, Burrow needs a year of mentoring before he can possibly get to the level of NFL competition. If history really does repeat itself, things are not looking as good for Joe Burrow and the Bengals next season — they are set to crash and burn.