Cincinnati Bengals scouting director Mike Potts detailed the moment when he decided Joe Burrow deserved to be the top overall pick.
During a period that seems like a lifetime ago, there was an all-out social media war that revolved around what the Cincinnati Bengals should do with the first overall pick. There were those that thought pass rusher Chase Young was a generational talent, far too impressive to pass on. Others believed the front office should trade back and acquire a treasure trove of selections. Still, others were pounding the table for Tua Tagovailoa, despite his injury history, as the route the orange and black should take.
When it was all said and done, however, the Bengals went with the most popular choice, scooping up Joe Burrow to be their next franchise quarterback. Despite there being rumors that Cincinnati would opt to build their franchise around someone other than the LSU prospect as late as the day of the draft, it appears that the team’s scouting director, Mike Potts, had his eyes set on Burrow from essentially day one.
“He was the No. 1 overall pick in my mind before I knew we had the No. 1 pick… You could feel his presence. I think from that point on he was at the top of our draft board and in my opinion it was going to take something crazy to change that from early November.” (via Bengals.com)
That’s strong praise from the Bengals’ lead man when it comes to scouting the college football ranks. Make no mistake about it, the team did their due diligence with other players, but Burrow appears to have always been the obvious choice, at least in the mind of Potts.
His thought process may also partially explain why the Bengals held onto the first overall selection, despite the Dolphins reportedly trying to trade up to their slot. Miami was loaded with draft capital, but it seems that the reigning Heisman just made too much of an impression to pass up on.
Fast forward to present day and it seems all the twists and turns leading up to Burrow’s selection were unnecessary. One of the most prominent voices in the franchise had locked onto the cigar-smoking signal-caller very early on in the process.