Joe Burrow knows he’ll be joining an NFL team that struggled last season, and the rookie hopes to help turn the fortunes of that franchise around quickly.
The presumed No. 1 overall pick heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, which kicks off April 23, recently spoke with fellow LSU product Shaquille O’Neal on “The Big Podcast With Shaq.” Burrow said his only goal is to turn a losing team into a winner.
“I just want to get drafted to a good team, good organization that is going to maximize my talents,” Burrow said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’ve won everywhere that I’ve been. I’ve never had a losing season in sports from the moment I was 5 years old. I’m not a loser. I just want to go somewhere where I can win. Teams are picking at the top for a reason. And I feel like, like I said before, I’ve won everywhere that I’ve ever been. I feel like if anybody can do it, I can do it.”
The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to make Burrow the first overall pick. The Ohio native continued his refrain that he’ll play for any team that drafts him. At this point, that chorus is viewed less as a shot at Cincy — that Burrow could pull an Eli Manning or John Elway and refuse to sign there — and more just Burrow not wanting to be presumptive.
The Bengals have made wholesale upgrades this offseason, particularly on defense, which could be viewed as a sign to Burrow that the team will do whatever it takes to buffer the young QB. Cincy added safety Vonn Bell, corners Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander, defensive lineman D.J. Reader and linebacker Josh Bynes, among others. Placing the franchise tag on A.J. Green means Burrow would have a top-tier WR duo in Green and Tyler Boyd.
If the Bengals‘ offensive line can improve and stay healthy, Cincinnati has pieces in place to make massive strides in 2020. The Bengals might be a year away from competing for the playoffs again, but if Burrow’s spectacular play translates from LSU to the pros, the turnaround should arrive in Cincy before long.