If not for injury Joe Burrow might’ve won Offensive Rookie of the Year last year, but the disrespect in NFL circles lingers.
On pace stats are a slippery slope. But if Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had played all 16 games last season he would have thrown for 4,301 yards. Of course, he missed the final six games with a torn ACL, and his pace would have had him leading the league in pass attempts by a fair margin.
In Gregg Rosenthal’s quarterback rankings entering the season over at NFL.com, Burrow comes in at No. 26. Here’s what Rosenthal wrote.
"“I worry about the offensive line. I worry about the arm strength Burrow showed as a rookie. I worry about Zac Taylor. I worry about Burrow missing the offseason coming off a torn ACL. I worry he’ll take a step back in the areas of his game that are his calling cards — accuracy and uncanny confidence — coming off surgery”"
Concerns about the Bengals’ offensive line are well-founded, but an attempt to upgrade the unit was made this offseason. Burrow did struggle early in training camp, but that has to be taken with a big grain of salt as he shook off rust.
Joe Burrow’s NFL.com QB ranking is laughably disrespectful
It’s one thing for Burrow to be ranked as the 26th-best quarterback in the league. But taking a look at who Rosenthal ranked above him, and the ranking becomes ridiculous.
One spot above Burrow at No. 25 is Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who didn’t have a good statistical rookie season last year. At No. 20-22 is a run of rookies who will be making their first NFL starts on Sunday — Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones.
Despite being hit and sacked the way he was, Burrow showed himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league last year. That is certainly deserving of a top-25 spot in any reasonable quarterback ranking. Putting Tagovailoa above him is a reach on its own, but Rosenthal reached even further with three rookies who have not taken a regular-season snap above Burrow.
Coming off his injury, Burrow is being slept on in a broader sense. But there’s little doubt he’ll prove his most fervent doubters wrong over the course of his second season, regardless of the Bengals’ record.