Joe Burrow pro comparisons: Is the former LSU star the next Tom Brady?

Joe Burrow, LSU Tigers. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, LSU Tigers. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Joe Burrow pro comparisons to Tom Brady have been frequent since his breakout season, but is the presumptive No. 1 pick really the next Brady?

Joe Burrow will be an NFL franchise quarterback in less than a month.

The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner put together the greatest single-season from a college quarterback to date. With 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and only six picks, it’s easy to see why this former Bayou Bengal will end up being the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals this spring.

Cincinnati has had several solid quarterbacks over the years, from Ken Anderson to Boomer Esiason to Carson Palmer to Andy Dalton. However, none of them were ever able to bring the Queen City a Lombardi Trophy. It’s an arduous task for Burrow, but taking a formerly archaic LSU offense and turning it into an aerial assault juggernaut wasn’t easy either. He did just that.

As Burrow is about to embark on his NFL career, let’s take a few minutes to try to figure out who his pro comparisons are. Who is he like and how good can he be at the NFL level? Let’s find out now.

Joe Burrow pro comparisons: The next Tom Brady?

Two former NFL MVPs he’s draw comparisons to are Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. If Burrow is The Geauxt, then Brady is The GOAT. Being compared to Brady is a tad laughable because it’s not fair to Burrow to be compared to the finest quarterback football has ever seen. Then again, their games are kind of similar and Burrow does remind us a bit of Brady’s boyhood idol Joe Montana.

But because Brady was a former sixth-round pick out of Michigan, it’s hard to really say what his NFL quarterbacking prototypes were coming out back in the 2000 NFL Draft. Brady massively overachieved any of those pre-draft benchmarks anyway. As for Ryan, he was a top-five pick back in 2008 to the Atlanta Falcons. Burrow will be that this year for presumably the Bengals at No. 1.

Burrow may be a tad more athletic than Ryan, but the accuracy comparisons and the work they do at the line of scrimmage pre-snap make sense. At his apex, Ryan was a lesser version of Peyton Manning. However, Ryan is a refined pocket-passing prototype whose prospects are often compared to. His most notable comparison to date is Jared Goff, who is a worse version of Ryan.

If Burrow does end up becoming Ryan, that would be a tremendous pick for the Bengals. At this point in his NFL career, Ryan is a borderline Hall of Famer, right in the wheelhouse of former Bengals greats Anderson and Esiason. Then again, comparing Burrow to one of the most prolific passers in NFL history does seem a tad unfair, but not to the degree of being compared to Brady.

The player who feels like the best pro comparison for Burrow is Tony Romo. Like Burrow, Romo was a former high school star on the hardwood. He plays the quarterback position with the feel of a facilitating scoring guard. The competitive firepower brings out the best in these guys who were overlooked coming out of high school in their respective Midwestern states.

Though Romo isn’t a Hall of Famer, he is beloved in Dallas, something Burrow can become in Cincinnati. From the Romo comparison, there are two well-known variations of it. You have the more mobile dynamic playmaker in Deshaun Watson. You also have the more skittish, but accurate Derek Carr. Both franchise quarterbacks have had varying levels of success in the NFL.

With Watson and Carr still in their 20s, the cement isn’t dry on their respective NFL legacies. Watson may end up a better pro quarterback than Romo, while Carr doesn’t seem like he will ever achieve what Romo did on the gridiron. While the Brady, Ryan, Montana or even Aaron Rodgers comparisons are interesting, Burrow feels like he’ll fall somewhere on the Romo spectrum.

Ultimately, a team like the Bengals are drafting Burrow to help them get to and win playoff games. Winning a Super Bowl would be a fantastic accomplishment, but so would bringing a playoff victory to the Queen City. The Bengals haven’t won a postseason game since Esiason was on the team back in 1990. If Burrow is a Cincinnati Romo, the Bengals can play for a Super Bowl berth.

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