Joe Burrow was Dolphins’ top target in 2020 NFL Draft

Kristen Wong
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Joe Burrow was always going to go to the Cincinnati Bengals as the No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. His next most likely destination? Miami.

In the trade that never happened, the Dolphins reportedly wanted to go all in on the LSU standout quarterback and offered Zac Taylor an offer that he could, indeed, refuse.

NFL’s Ian Rapoport claimed that at the time, “Miami was willing to trade all three first-round picks it had in 2020 — including the No. 5 overall pick that wound up being Tua Tagovailoa — and potentially more.”

In total, that would have been the No. 5 pick, No. 18 pick, and No. 30 pick for Joe Burrow.

Stephen Ross, currently embroiled in controversy over Brian Flores’ lawsuit, was one of those “pushing hardest for the trade” according to Rapoport’s sources. Despite his efforts, the trade was doomed from the start, as Cincinnati had its heart set on Burrow already.

Rapoport writes of the chatter:

"“The call was quick, and the member of the Bengals brass who picked up the phone quickly hung up. No interest at all.”"

Cincinnati Bengals never wavered on picking Joe Burrow as No. 1 pick in 2020 draft

Imagining the “what-ifs” and “could-have-beens” would be a more sentimental fantasy for Dolphins fans as opposed to Bengals fans.

Two years into Burrow’s tenure in Cincinnati, the Bengals have won their first division title since 2015, their first playoff game since 1991, and they are heading to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989.

Miami, on the other hand, finished third in the AFC East, recently fired its head coach, and has a starting quarterback the franchise doesn’t seem to trust.

Where Tua has shown flashes of potential in two years at Miami, Burrow has helped orchestrate one of the greatest turnarounds in history in two years at Cincinnati. The battle between these two QBs isn’t even close, which just goes to show how impactful a young, dominant signal-caller can be for a rebuilding organization.

Next. 5 prospects for Cincinnati Bengals to watch at 2022 Senior Bowl. dark

Zac Taylor and the Bengals didn’t think twice about their No. 1 pick. Now they’re going to the Super Bowl. Hindsight is always 20/20, but the Bengals’ front office did good on this one.