How Joe Burrow stacks up against the last five quarterbacks picked first overall
By Steve Rivera
Perhaps of the five most recent quarterbacks selected first overall, Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff draws the most interesting and logical parallels. While Goff was not a Heisman Trophy winner, and did not have the kind of one season collegiate career that Joe Burrow had, his time at California was quietly impressive.
At Cal, Goff would be part of Sonny Dykes Air Raid offense. As a true freshman, he would start all 12 games for the Golden Bears, finished 1-11, but would set single-season records for passing yards 3,508, yards gained 3,508, total offense 3,446, passes completed 320, and passes attempted 530.
Goff would continue to post impressive numbers at Cal, and entering his junior season, would be projected as the top quarterback for the 2016 NFL Draft. The Rams, having just relocated back to Los Angeles, would trade up to the first pick, working out a deal with the Tennessee Titans, to select Goff.
In his rookie season, Goff would initially serve as a backup to veteran Case Keenum. The Rams had come off of another unimpressive season under Jeff Fisher. In his first year, he would start seven games, losing all of them, en route to a 4-12 season.
Like Goff, Burrow will be going to a team who has been under-performing. The Bengals share some interesting parallels in that both have young offensive minded head coaches. Neither Goff nor Burrow possess particularly strong arms, and both went to teams who appear to have potential on offense. Goff had Todd Gurley to rely on, and Burrow will have Joe Mixon. LA would add a bevy of pieces at wide receiver in Goff’s sophomore season, and Burrow could have A.J. Green as well as John Ross in year one.
Also of note, the Rams were not shy in free agency. In 2017, LA went on a spree, adding players like Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters. Aquib Talib, and receiver Brandin Cooks from New England. Cincinnati has pledged to be much more active in free agency, potentially adding pieces that could quickly reverse a Bengals team who finished 2-14.
Goff was part of a monumental reversal of fortune, as they would make the playoff after an 11-5 record in 2017, then make a Super Bowl run in 2018, finishing 13-3, but losing to the New England Patriots. The Bengals and Joe Burrow could find themselves on a similar trajectory sooner rather than later.