CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Bengals are not stressed by the inability to watch LSU quarterback Joe Burrow pitch live before this month’s NFL draft.
Multiple members of the group of coaches were scheduled to make the trip to Louisiana to see Burrow on the LSU pro day, which was scheduled for Friday, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor confirmed to ESPN this week.
However, due to national restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, LSU and several other institutions postponed or canceled their pro days. Taylor said that even if the Bengals are unable to see Burrow, or any of the other options at the quarterback position, pitching before the draft begins on April 23 will not significantly alter their draft process.RELATED
All signs point to Joe Burrow being the next quarterback in Cincinnati. AP Photo
“Actually, the first evaluation tool is always the regular season video, especially with quarterbacks,” said Taylor. “We saw as much as we could with all these quarterbacks that are options here. Again, it’s just one thing that you don’t get to put popcorn on your list. But I think we’re comfortable making any decision that we make, without having seen these guys go live. “
On March 13, the league issued a memorandum vetoing all pre-draft personal visits for eligible players, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano. The team’s facilities have also been closed to non-essential personnel since March 24, preventing teams from receiving prospects.
Burrow, ranked as the best quarterback available according to ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., did not participate in any of the Senior Bowl passing exercises, nor the Talent Combined. Burrow’s campaign ended in January, after he punctuated LSU’s undefeated season with a victory in the College Football Playoff final game.
“Everyone else has been training a little bit more,” Burrow said on February 25. “I don’t think I could have given my best version here at the Combined, so I wanted to wait for my pro day.”
Even without Burrow participating in the Combined, he met with several members of the Cincinnati coaching and staff group, including team president Mike Brown. Burrow had been training with Jordan Palmer at Dana Point, California, in preparation for the pro day and the draft.
Given that the Bengals have been involved in draft preparation since leading the Senior Bowl in late January, Taylor said she feels good about the process, despite the limitations forced by the global pandemic.
“We covered a long list of players and we’ve been doing this for two months,” said Taylor. “We feel we are very well prepared for April.”