2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LSU QB Joe Burrow

HEIGHT: 6-3 / WEIGHT: 221 / COLLEGE: LSU / CLASS: Redshirt Senior

2019 STATS (15 GAMES): 402/527, 76.3%, 5,671 yards, 10.8 YPA, 60 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 202.0 RATE

CAREER STATS (38 GAMES): 650/945, 68.8%, 8,852 yards, 9.4 YPA, 78 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 172.4 RATE

GAMES WATCHED (9):  Texas, Vanderbilt, Utah State, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, Oklahoma

40 BENCH VERT BROAD 3 CONE 20S 60S

SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (5/5)

  • Good height and build for the quarterback position
  • Meets hand size threshold (9″)

ACCURACY/BALL PLACEMENT (23.75/25)

  • Elite short and intermediate accuracy (0-19 yards)
  • Very good deep accuracy (20+ yards)
  • Excellent ball placement — consistently leads receivers to YAC and protects them from big hits
  • Very strong middle-of-the-field passer
  • Good accuracy under duress
  • Accurate passer on the move
  • Accuracy drops slightly outside the numbers
  • Receivers occasionally have to slow up for deep passes
  • Terrific touch passer
  • Good off-platform thrower

ARM STRENGTH/VELOCITY (10.5/15)

  • Strong enough arm to make all of the required NFL throws when he has a sound throwing platform
  • Adequate arm power to hit receivers 50-55 yards down the field
  • Has little trouble accessing tight windows in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field
  • Lacks prototypical drive velocity for deep downfield throws and far hash throws like comebacks and deep outs
  • Puts too much arc on deep passes at times, forcing receivers to slow up
  • Maintains velocity on the move

MENTAL PROCESSING (20/20)

  • Fantastic pre- and post-snap field vision
  • Full-field reader who gets through progressions at a rapid rate
  • Very good at identifying favorable matchups/vulnerabilities in the coverage based on pre-snap alignment
  • Quick to recognize blitzes and consistently makes necessary adjustment whether it’s hitting his hot read, sliding the protection or tucking the ball and running
  • Excellent decision-making — calculated risk-taker that rarely throws the ball in harm’s way; strikes a wonderful balance of taking what the defense gives him and taking aggressive shots down the field
  • Great eye discipline/manipulation
  • Excellent anticipation — regularly releases the ball before receivers get out of their breaks; makes throws to spots where the window will be
  • Has shown an ability to make own sight adjustments at the line of scrimmage
  • Good internal clock — rarely holds onto the ball longer than he needs to; knows when to escape the pocket

POCKET PRESENCE (15/15)

  • Terrific pocket mobility and awareness — feels backside pressure very well and climbs, sidesteps or escapes the pocket to keep plays alive
  • Incredible poise — completely unfazed by pressure
  • Does a great job of keeping his eyes down the field when pressure closes in

MECHANICS (4.5/5)

  • Relatively quick, over-the-shoulder release
  • Strong ball security — regularly keeps two hands on the football when he navigates the pocket or looks to escape
  • Smooth drop footwork
  • Always stays in a ready to throw position
  • Can be a little lackadaisical with speed of drops/hitch steps

MOBILITY (3.75/5)

  • Good functional mobility
  • Capable scrambler
  • Has some elusiveness in the open field
  • Has enough speed to pick up the occasional first down against man coverage
  • Average to slightly above average top-end speed for a QB (est. 4.8 40)

INTANGIBLES (10/10)

  • Two-year starter
  • Highly regarded for character and leadership abilities at both Ohio State and LSU
  • Had arguably the best statistical quarterback season in NCAA football history
  • Physical toughness — willing to stand in the pocket and take hits
  • Two-sport athlete — was an all-state point guard in high school
  • Went from backup at Ohio State to Heisman winner and national champion

OVERALL GRADE: 92.50/100.00 — ELITE — Perennial Pro Bowler with All-Pro potential

NFL COMPARISON: Tony Romo/Tom Brady hybrid

SCHEME FIT: Ideal fit for a West Coast Offense; could also operate a spread or vertical offense.

DRAFT PROJECTION: No. 1 overall pick

Joe Burrow is the best quarterback prospect I’ve evaluated over the last seven years. His only real shortcoming is his lack of elite arm strength, but he makes up for that by being elite or at least good at everything else. While he may not have the physical upside of a Patrick Mahomes, his NFL ceiling will still be very high because he has an elite combination of accuracy, mental processing and pocket presence, and he’s a great off-script playmaker. I expect Burrow to be a competent starter from the moment he steps onto an NFL field. By Year 5, he could become a top-5 player at his position.

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