Anthony Munoz witnessed Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow deliver a National Championship to LSU, and the Hall of Famer believes he has the requisite traits to turn around the Cincinnati Bengals' fortunes.
The Bengals hold the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after going 2-14 in 2019 and it is expected they will select Burrow, a quarterback who was raised in Ohio.
The 23-year-old had an incredible senior year with LSU, throwing for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns and leading the Tigers to a win over Clemson in the National Championship last month.
Cincinnati have had four successive losing seasons and have not won a playoff game since 1990 yet Munoz, a Hall of Famer who spent 13 years on the Bengals' offensive line between 1980 and 1992, believes their presumptive first pick Burrow can be a hit in the NFL.
"I think so. First of all, it's all about putting people in the seats," he told Stats Perform.
"Joe being an Athens, Ohio guy, I think that's going to help - not to mention the great leadership qualities he has and the player he's been this season.
"You look at him and it seems the better the college team, the better he's played.
"The higher ranked they've been, the bigger the game – not that that's the same as the NFL – but I think he's someone that has shown that.
"We need to help him in other areas. We need to shore up the offensive line a little bit.
"I think we have the pieces, having Jonah Williams healthy, coming in this year and doing what they think he should be able to do. I think we have a couple of young linemen that they can build on. It would surprise me if they didn't go with Joe."
There is a sense that winding up back in Ohio may not be Burrow's wish, though, with some pundits suggesting he should pull a John Elway or Eli Manning and refuse to play for the Bengals if he is selected by them.
A historically bad NFL franchise who have never won the Super Bowl, Cincinnati made Zac Taylor their head coach last season and he had the league's worst record in his rookie campaign.
However, Munoz is confident that the former Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach can find success in Cincinnati.
"I've been really impressed with Zac Taylor," Munoz added.
"I've been around him quite a bit. Didn't know a whole lot about him when he got there but I've had a chance to be around him and get to know him and talk to people who know him extremely well.
"I think he's a good fit and I think he's going to be very successful."Published 25 Feb 2020, 16:38 IST