I hope you’re sitting down for this, but it doesn’t sound as though the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to trade out of the top spot in the 2020 NFL Draft, set to kick off in a little over a week now. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said as much while as a guest on the Dan Patrick Show.
When asked if there was anything that he could see changing their plans going forward—which has long been presumed to be drafting Joe Burrow, the quarterback out of LSU—he told his host that “it doesn’t look that way“.
“If there is a guy there that you believe in that can really change the franchise over the next 10-15 years, then that’s a hard thing to pass up on”, he went on. “You know, people all the time ask me what would it take to give up that pick and if there’s somebody there that people are willing to give up a lot for, that they believe in, then that just really verifies what we think about those players as well”.
It’s one thing if you already have a franchise quarterback—though the odds of a team who has a franchise quarterback drafting first overall aren’t very good. It’s another if you don’t have that player. Taylor is right. If another team is willing to give up a sultan’s ransom for a player you also need, you probably should just take the guy when you’re in the position to do so.
Burrow is coming off of one of the historically great college football seasons of all time and has been pretty much the consensus pick as the best player coming out of college this year, having been compared favorably to just about any other recent quarterback prospect that has entered the league.
Of course, being a top prospect and becoming an elite NFL player are very different things, and that takes a lot of work. And becoming an elite player and being on a good or even great team are also different. It doesn’t matter how good of a quarterback you are if you don’t have a supporting cast.
Meanwhile, Andy Dalton remains with the team, and it’s unclear what his future holds. He could be traded. He could serve as Burrow’s backup. Or he could start. If there isn’t going to be an offseason, it would be pretty hard to start a rookie quarterback who hasn’t gotten any meaningful work in.