Drafting Joe Burrow "A Sigh Of Relief" For Zac Taylor, Bengals

The Bengals have their franchise quarterback; now the real work begins

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 24, 2020 - 8:28 am
Zac Taylor Bengals

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After months of rumors and speculation, the Cincinnati Bengals took Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, and Bengals brass couldn’t have been happier.

“I think they were pretty ecstatic,” Sports Illustrated Bengals writer James Rapien said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think it was pretty hard for Zac [Taylor] to keep it in this long because they obviously knew. They knew for at least weeks, but it’s really hard to imagine that it wasn’t even longer than that – just because of the season Joe had. You hear about the Combine meeting with Mike Brown there in Indianapolis. They all met with Burrow then, and he impressed them. I think that this was inevitable, and I think it’s probably almost a sigh of relief now among the coaching staff because they can move past this and get their final six picks out of the way and focus on the season.”

The Bengals, who went 2-14 last year, believe they have a generational talent at quarterback, someone who can end the franchise’s streak of 29 seasons without a playoff win.

In fact, that might be why the team was so active in free agency.

“They committed nearly $150 million to eight different free agents, and the Bengals don’t do that,” Rapien said. “They’re not built that way. But I think the key – and they know it – they have to surround Burrow with talent. They know they have this elite prospect and they don’t want to waste it. I think they’re going to focus on putting talent around him from an offensive line standpoint.”

Indeed, Rapien expects the Bengals to draft an offensive lineman or wide receiver with the first pick of the second round.

“I think they want him to be set up for success,” Rapien said. “They saw all the talent he had at LSU, and they want to try to put him in the same type of situation with the Bengals.”