Expectations are understandably high for No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, and for good reason.
Burrow, fresh off one of the best seasons in college football history, goes to a Bengals team ripe with already established offensive firepower to go with his elite arm accuracy and decision making ability.
A.J. Green is still one of the 10 best wide receivers in football, despite the injuries, and when you take into account the fact that Cincinnati also has wideouts Tyler Boyd and John Ross, and running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, it’s not ridiculous to say this is one of the most talented offenses in football.
The Bengals weren’t satisfied after drafting Burrow in the first, so they picked up former Clemson wideout Tee Higgins with the 33rd pick to add to their stockpile of weapons.
Burrow will have all the playmakers he could ask for come the start of the season, but what kind of numbers can we expect from the Ohio native?
The oddsmakers over at FanDuel currently have Burrow’s total number of passing yards prop for his rookie season set at 3,800.5 yards.
In today’s passing league, that number doesn’t seem like a stretch for the supremely talented Burrow, but when you put it into historical context or compare it to other QBs across the league, it may be a bit high.
For starters, only three rookie quarterbacks have ever passed for over 3,800 yards in their first season – Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston – so expecting Burrow to do so right out of the gate is setting some lofty expectations.
Around the league, Burrow’s passing yard total is on par with some much more established names. Future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers’ total is set at 3,899.5 yards, as is Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz’s and San Francisco signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo’s.
Rodgers and Wentz have a history of injury, and Garoppolo isn’t known as one of the league’s best pure passers, but all three are Super Bowl champions and regarded across the league as some of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Burrow’s 3,800.5-yard total is also higher than most of the young names around the NFL, like Daniel Jones (3,799.5), Sam Darnold (3,549.5), Josh Allen (3,249.5) and last season's MVP, Lamar Jackson (3,199.5).
Burrow has all the tools to put up big numbers for the next 10-15 years, but there is a historically harsh learning curve for rookies at the quarterback position. If he’s going to eclipse the mark that oddsmakers are setting, it’s going to take one of the best rookie seasons ever for QB.