Joe Burrow will fare better than other first overall picks because he “hasn’t had a silver spoon in his mouth,” according to his coach at LSU.
Ed Orgeron believes Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy and led LSU to a national championship in 2019, is capable of handling the pressure and intense scrutiny that comes with being taken at the top of the NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to pick him first overall on Thursday.
Burrow had to fight for a role as a college starter after being unable to make a breakthrough with Ohio State. He took time to progress once he had transferred to LSU.
“You know, Joe didn’t play in three years, and he came here and he earned the respect of the football team,” Orgeron said to ESPN. “Joe wasn’t the Heisman Trophy winner when he got here. He developed, he got better, he kept his mouth shut.
“Obviously we all heard the stories [of other No. 1 picks] going to this team or that team, they haven’t had a good record or whatever.
“I think that Joe has not had a silver spoon in his mouth all his life. I think Joe has had to fight all his life.
“And I think if he does have to fight — and it may be Cincinnati — he’s willing to fight for that. And he’s willing to build a team. And he’s willing to go through adversity if he has to.
“Nothing was promised to him here [at LSU]. He came here with faith and built a championship team. And I don’t see why he couldn’t do it at Cincinnati.”
Orgeron was asked why he was so certain Burrow — who had 60 touchdowns to just six interceptions as he threw for 5,671 yards in an unbelievable 2019 campaign — would thrive at the NFL level.
“The way he worked every day, the way he earned the right to be the starting quarterback at LSU,” Orgeron said. “The way he got better, the way he captured the football team, the way he led.
“His work ethic, attitude and smarts will [translate to the NFL and] make him a great player.”
The last quarterback to be taken No. 1 overall and win a Super Bowl was Eli Manning, who was the first pick in 2004. He famously did not play for the team that picked him, though. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers, who dealt him to the New York Giants for a package led by No. 4 pick Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman, taken 12th that year by San Diego. Manning led Big Blue to two Lombardi Trophies.