Joe Burrow


Prospect Info

Athens, OH
6' 3"
221 lbs
30 7/8”

Prospect Grade

Pro Bowl talent
How We Grade


Burrow bucked a family trend when he chose to play at Ohio State instead of Nebraska, where his father (Jimmy, long-time defensive coordinator for Frank Solich at Ohio University) and two brothers (Dan, Jamie) suited up. It was tough to blame him, though, as the two-time Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year was a highly coveted national recruit. Burrow was also an all-state point guard who turned down mid-major basketball scholarship opportunities. He did not, however, end up playing much for the Buckeyes. As a redshirt freshman, he played in six games as a backup (22-of-28 passing, 78.6 percent completion rate, 226 yards, two TDs). Burrow played in four games the following year (7-of-11 passing, 63.6 percent completion rate, 61 yards) and then lost the starting job for 2018 to Dwayne Haskins. He decided to transfer to LSU as a graduate student before the season, and the coaches put him into the lineup (219-of-379 passing, 57.8 percent completion rate, 2,894 yards, 16 passing TDs, five INTs; 128 carries for 399 yards, 3.1 yards per carry and seven rushing TDs). He was the first LSU quarterback to throw for 2,500 yards and run for 300 yards in the same season, and he finished the year off with a big performance against UCF in the Fiesta Bowl (394 passing yards with a school-bowl-record five TD passes). The effort portended a strong senior season, but few predicted how strong. Burrow led the Bayou Bengals to a national title in 2019, winning the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, and Davey O'Brien Awards, as well as unanimous Associated Press All-American and SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors. The nation's most efficient passer had one of the best seasons in college football history, leading the country in passing yards (5,671), total offense (6,039 yards), completion percentage (76.3, on 402-of-527 passing) and set an NCAA record with 60 touchdown passes in 15 starts.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
NFL Comparison
Kurt Warner
People's champ with rags-to-riches story arc culminating in one of the greatest one-year turnarounds in sports history. He's self-assured and plays with competitive toughness that teammates will gravitate toward instantly. He's a rhythm passer who benefited from tempo and scheme, but his vision, touch and read recognition made the offense special. He buys time for himself inside the pocket, but creates explosive, off-schedule plays outside of it with his arm or legs. He throws with staggering precision and timing, but he recognizes his own arm-strength constraints and is forced to shrink the field accordingly. His 2018 tape and unremarkable physical traits could clutter his evaluation for some, but he appears to be an outlier who simply developed and blossomed beyond those evaluation concerns. He's a smart quarterback with special intangibles and could become a Pro Bowler if a team tailors its offense to his specific strengths and comfort level.
  • Off-the-charts football IQ and intangibles
  • Plays with brazen field presence and poise
  • Rapid ascension to chess master who can beat up coverages thrown at him
  • Initial field glances are often lies being told to safeties
  • Gets through full-field progressions with unique internal clock timed to the routes
  • Decisive from read to release with elite precision and placement
  • Stuck it into impossible windows on several occasions
  • Very good timing and anticipation
  • Throws pass-catchers away from coverage and into space
  • Throws with superb touch and trusts receivers to make the play
  • Deep dime-dropper, completing 55 percent with 24 TDs and 2 INTs in 2019
  • Separates from rush with deft climbs, slides and escapes
  • Above-average toughness in pocket and as runner
  • Unexpected wiggle to elude when scrambling
  • Makes explosive, off-schedule plays while on the move
  • Can deliver back-breaking runs to move the chains
  • Polar opposite seasons in 2018 and 2019
  • A level of scheme fit is necessary
  • Below-average arm strength and average release quickness
  • Tends to work into more condensed areas of the field
  • Steep drop in accuracy on intermediate throws outside the numbers
  • Requires top-notch timing for out-breaking throws as a pro
  • Saw nose of ball dive on some throws field-side
  • Spotty high/low combo throws against long boundary CBs when they play it low to high
  • Early issues handling Clemson's disguised blitz packages
  • Scheme created clearer reads and easier one-on-one throws
  • Took sacks he didn't need to
The perfect prospect
Perennial All-Pro
Pro Bowl talent
Year 1 quality starter
Boom or bust prospect
Will be starter within first two seasons
Good backup who could become starter
Developmental traits-based prospect
Chance to make end of roster or practice squad
Priority free agent
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
Likely needs time in developmental league