Joe Burrow predicted to add more hardware to trophy case

Joe Burrow is the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year.

Joe Burrow put together the single greatest season for a quarterback in college football history. And now expectations are high for the former LSU quarterback to be the best rookie in the NFL in 2020.

His 2019 LSU Tigers won all 15 games they played en route to a perfect National Championship campaign. While many of his teammates were rewarded for their efforts by being drafted, Burrow was deemed the top pick this spring and now finds himself on the worst franchise in football.

The Athens, Ohio native is the chosen one to bring the long moribund Cincinnati Bengals back to life. He’s expected to be the latest signal-caller in stripes to lead his team to the AFC playoffs and make it to the Pro Bowl. Despite Cincinnati being seen as the worst team in the AFC North yet again, that doesn’t change the perception of Burrow among his peers.

MGM has Burrow as the runaway favorite for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at +240. Other notable players with +1000 odds or better are Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+600), Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (+900), Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (+1000) and Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (+1000).

While this looks to be a strong rookie class at least on the offensive side of the ball, how sure are we Burrow will do what last year’s No. 1 overall pick did in Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals? Winning the Heisman Trophy and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in back-to-back seasons is quite the parlay. Does Burrow have this in the bag or are we overlooking a clear dark horse here?

Should Joe Burrow be the favorite to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Yes, Burrow should be favored to take home this honor at this juncture for two big reasons: He plays the right position and he’s going to start right away. By being a quarterback who is asked to start Week 1, he’ll have a jumpstart over the likes of Tagovailoa in Miami and Justin Herbert with the Los Angeles Chargers. They’ll start as rookies, but not right out of the gate like Burrow.

While the running back trio of Edwards-Helaire, Swift and Taylor are intriguing dark horse candidates for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, they all will have the ball in their hands less than Burrow will under center in Cincinnati. All things equal, a quarterback will win the award, just like Murray did over Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs last season. That’s just how it goes.

What is cool for Burrow is he doesn’t have to have the Bengals anywhere near playoff contention to take home his first major NFL honor. If the Bengals finish the year around 5-11 and upset a team or two, he and Cincinnati football will already be heading in the right direction. Keep in mind the Bengals went 2-14 last season, which is why they ended up drafting Burrow No. 1 overall.

Next: 5 NFL teams poised to double last year’s win totals in 2020

Swift plays for another bad franchise in Detroit. Unless he’s the second coming of Barry Sanders, which he’s not, he won’t take home the hardware. Edwards-Helaire and Taylor play for well-run franchises. If either rushes for well over 1,000 yards and Burrow can’t move the needle in the Queen City, then it might be Edwards-Helaire or Taylor of the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner.

For now, the best bet is to put money on Burrow as the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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