NFL Draft 2020: Joe Burrow isn’t plotting to pull an Eli Manning on the Bengals

Joe Burrow isn’t going to pull an Eli Manning on the Cincinnati Bengals, according to his dad.

On the heels of a sensational senior year that included winning the Heisman Trophy by the largest margin ever and throwing five touchdowns to lead LSU to a national championship, the 23-year old is the presumptive No. 1 pick in the  2020 NFL Draft in April.

“He’s excited to even be in that conversation,” Joe Burrow’s father Jimmy Burrow told Montreal’s TSN 690 on Thursday. “If the Bengals do draft him, he’s going to be happy.”

The Bengals, who have the first pick of the draft, finished the 2019 season with a league-worst 2-14 record and are likely ready to move on from veteran starter Andy Dalton. There have been some lingering concerns that Burrow was not interested in becoming the new face of the beleaguered Bengals franchise.

Those worries were only amplified when Joe Brady, LSU’s passing-game coordinator, was hired as the Panthers offensive coordinator on Tuesday.  At only 30-years old, Brady will become the youngest coordinator in the NFL and was seen as integral in scheming LSU’s revolutionary offense and developing Burrow. After a disastrous 5-11 season, the Panthers currently own the seventh-overall pick and could be looking to trade up to draft a quarterback with Cam Newton’s future in flux.

Eli Manning, 2004 NFL Draft
Eli Manning stands with commissioner Paul Tagliabue during the 2004 NFL Draft.Sporting News via Getty Images

This calls back memories to 2004 when another consensus top pick strong-armed the Chargers into being traded to the Giants. Eli Manning and his father Archie were vocal in their opposition to play for the team and Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, told the Chargers that Eli would sit out the entire 2004 season should he be picked.

The prospect of joining a team with a dearth of talent may not be extremely appealing — the Bengals ranked 30th in the league in points scored per game, 29th in yards allowed and 24th in sacks allowed — but Jimmy Burrow says he and his son are fully onboard with the uphill battle that comes with being a top draft pick.

“You’re always, if you’re the top pick or one of the top picks, that’s the way the NFL Draft is set up, you’re not gonna get picked by a team that has a great record,” said Jimmy. “He’ll be confident that eventually they can win a lot of games there at Cincinnati.”

The Burrow family has deep ties in Ohio. Joe Burrow played high school football in Athens, Ohio, which is approximately 160 miles from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. He spent three years at Ohio State before transferring to LSU for his final two years.

Jimmy Burrow, 66, was the Ohio Bobcats’ defensive coordinator from 2005 until he retired in 2018 so he could watch his son play his senior year. He is a former defensive back for the Montreal Alouettes and had a five-season career in the Canadian Football League.

“I can be in my seat in 3.5 hours from Athens – you know, that’s certainly a positive,” Jimmy said. “The Ohio people are ecstatic about this opportunity, maybe, that that could happen. There’s a long way between now and the draft. That’s for sure.”

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