INDIANAPOLIS — Joe Burrow rebuffed any notion that he doesn’t want the Cincinnati Bengals to select him No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"I’ll play for whoever drafts me," Burrow said Tuesday from the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. "I’m just not going to be presumptuous about what they want to do. It’s the draft. You guys have been covering it for a long time. You never know what’s going to happen."
Burrow might not be presumptuous, but the rest of the globe assumes the Bengals will use the top pick on the Heisman Trophy winner. The LSU quarterback’s previous comments have seemed noncommittal about joining the Bengals organization. The hiring of Carson Palmer’s brother, Jordan, as a QB coach after the former blasted the Cincy franchise, added fuel to the speculation.
Burrow said Tuesday that the narrative was spun from others reading into his previous comments about having "leverage," insisting he was simply talking about his choices of how to handle the combine.
"The only thing I’ve said is I didn’t want to be presumptuous about the pick," Burrow said. "So, that’s why I’ve been noncommittal, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. They might not pick me. They might fall in love with someone else. You guys kind of took that narrative and ran with it. There has never been anything like that from my end."
Burrow noted that he wouldn’t sit out if the Bengals use the top pick on him.
"I’m not going to not play. I’m a ballplayer. Whoever picks me, I’m going to show up," he said.
If selected by Cincy, Burrow hopes A.J. Green remains with the franchise.
"If I’m lucky enough to be drafted No. 1, I’d like to have him on the roster," he said.
The signal-caller added he’s not yet met with the Cincinnati brass yet but plans to over the next few days. Asked multiple times whether there are any concerns of his that he’d like the team to quash during the interview process, Burrow said he’s just looking forward to "talking ball."
"I wouldn’t say there are any concerns. I want to learn a lot about a lot of different teams," he said. "Through these interviews you just talk ball, and that’s what I enjoy doing. I think we’re meeting with the Bengals here in a couple days, and I’m looking forward to just talking ball, seeing what they’re about. Seeing the offense that they run. See how they think about ball. So that’s what these interviews are about. The people and the process."
The quarterback confirmed he doesn’t plan to work out during the combine this week, citing LSU’s long run in the College Football Playoff as a reason for sitting out drills. He doesn’t need to do on-field drills, to be the top selection in April, his game-tape speaks plenty loud enough.
Burrow made it clear he’d be excited about joining Cincinnati if he’s the No. 1 overall pick.
"Of course, I want to be the first pick. That’s every kids’ dream. I’ve worked really, really hard for this opportunity," the Ohio native said. "Two hours, 15 minutes from my house. I could go home for dinner if I wanted to. Not a lot of pro athletes could get to do that."
The QB might not want to be presumptuous about his landing spot. But the rest of us can be. Unless something goes awry in the next couple months, expect to see the Bengals announce Joe Burrow as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
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