2020 NFL Draft: Shocked Joe Burrow thought he would be picked in third or fourth round
- Ahead of his historic season with LSU, Joe Burrow had no thought of being a first-round prospect, never mind the presumptive top pick.
Joe Burrow says he went into his historic 2019 college season confident in his ability but would never have dreamed of being the number one overall pick.
The 23-year-old led LSU to the National Championship and won the Heisman Trophy in a season that saw him throw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
Burrow started the year in an optimistic mood but expected to be a draft prospect taken in the third or fourth round.
Now, he is widely expected to be taken at number one overall by the Cincinnati Bengals when the draft begins on Thursday.
"Absolutely not," Burrow told Sports Illustrated when asked if he thought he would be the presumptive top pick.
"I knew that I was gonna play really well my senior year. And I was going into it thinking I was one of the best guys in the country.
"But I know what recruiting is, and I know how the draft is. It's always interesting seeing where people go and seeing who ends up panning out.
"So I knew I had a chance to be a really good pro. But I didn't think I could do anything to get myself up to the number one pick in the draft.
"I expected to have the kind of season that I had. But I didn't expect for it to propel me to the number one pick. I thought I was gonna go third, fourth round."
Burrow's college career saw him transfer from Ohio State when he was destined to lose a quarterback competition with Dwayne Haskins after he was previously underrecruited.
Receiving constant praise in a draft process that has seen him consistently rated as the top QB option has therefore been something of a change.
"Yeah, it definitely has," he said. "In the past, you hear all the things wrong with your game, everything that you need to improve on to get to where you need to get to.
"And now you hear everyone telling you how good you are. You just have to keep the same mentality of trying to prove yourself every single day.
"But it's a lot easier when you have people telling you how bad you are than when people are telling you how good you are."
Burrow believes the NFL's greats play with a chip on their shoulder and is determined to maintain his.
He added: "There's a commonality in a lot of the great quarterbacks in the league, that they have the chip on their shoulder - from something.
"Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson - I mean, they all have something that got them to have a little chip on their shoulder, that makes you continue to work really, really hard.
"I mean, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'd like to say I'd have had the same mindset if I was a five-star. But who knows? It's tough to tell."Published 20 Apr 2020, 19:06 IST