Cincinnati Bengals: Did Justin Herbert move the needle at the Senior Bowl?
By Steve Rivera
Did Zac Taylor and the Cincinnati Bengals see enough from Justin Herbert to change minds on Joe Burrow? Likely not. But with a lot of time to go before the NFL Draft, anything is possible.
Zac Taylor got his first look at the talent available at the 2020 Senior Bowl. If you’re all in on Joe Burrow, today’s game didn’t change anything, but the bigger question is did anyone at quarterback change the mind of the Cincinnati Bengals?
Odds are long. While Duke Tobin insists that the Bengals organization has a long way to go in making a decision, today’s game might have only left Taylor, Tobin, and the decision-makers with questions needing to be answered.
For anyone who believes that Burrow to the Bengals might not yet be decided, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert provided a showing that earned him Senior Bowl MVP. His line, while hardly gaudy, has him finish 9 of 12, for 83 yards and one touchdown. His North counterpart, Shea Patterson was statistically better, finishing 6 of 10, for 131 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
For the Bengals, quarterback remains the biggest question heading into free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft. While Burrow remains the likely favorite, Herbert had a nice day despite some truly awful offensive line play. Herbert, who is third on many QB lists behind Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, could have used a breakout kind of performance. Moving forward, he’ll still have the NFL Combine to change minds and perhaps move up the draft boards of teams, including the Bengals.
Burrow, who did not play or participate in Senior Bowl week, remains the odds on favorite for whoever has the first pick. While the Bengals own the first selection, both the Miami Dolphins and the Carolina Panthers have been rumored as teams who would like to move up for the right to select the newest Heisman Trophy winner.