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Bengals coaches: Joe Burrow 'checks off a lot of boxes'

Joe Burrow is coming off one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in college football history, leading his LSU team to a national championship while throwing for bonkers numbers. The QB is the presumptive No. 1 selection heading into the draft.

The team with the top pick needs a quarterback of the future. Refreshingly, those Cincinnati Bengals aren't reticent to discuss Burrow.

"He definitely checks off a lot of boxes early on in the evaluation process," quarterbacks coach Andy Van Pelt told the team's official website. "He obviously looks like a very intriguing guy."

As the Bengals prep to coach the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and Van Pelt provided glowing scouting reports about Burrow.

"He's got natural pocket feel. He feels it," Callahan said. "It seems like he never takes his eyes off down the field. He extends the play really, really well. He's a lot faster than you might assume when you see him running away from all those SEC guys. He's got incredible up-field accuracy. The ball hardly ever hits the ground in a game, which is rare. He just naturally puts the ball in places where those guys can make plays."

Van Pelt added: "Creates on the move. Obviously takes care of the ball. Makes good decisions. You can see that with his touchdown-to-interception ratio (60-6). I got to see him (in real time on TV) in the last two games of the year and then when you watch the tape, you're seeing the same things. "

In 15 games this season, the 23-year-old quarterback completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, just six interceptions, a whopping 10.8 yards per attempt average and 12.5 adjusted passing yards per attempt.

There seems no bigger slam-dunk than Cincinnati making the Ohio-native the No. 1 overall selection in April's draft. Sure, the Bengals have found ways to screw things up in the past, but turning in the card with Burrow's name on it is a no-brainer for a franchise that has wallowed in QB mediocrity.

The question for this offseason should revolve around how the Bengals' offense under Zac Taylor fits Burrow's skillset. Callahan noted that all NFL teams have stolen concepts from the Saints offense, which passing game coordinator Joe Brady brought to LSU, jumpstarting Burrow's massive season.

"We've got a lot of similarities with their pass game. A lot of NFL offenses do," Callahan noted. "He ran a lot of elements of what they did in New Orleans. Getting guys in space. Getting people in matchups. You see a lot of pro passing concepts in their offense and they did a really good job. But they are things that you see around the league. It's all things that fit very well with what we do and a lot of people do."

Unlike the Bengals, not a lot of people own the No. 1 pick and can make Burrow part of its offense for years to come.

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