It didn’t take long for Trevor Lawrence to be tabbed a future No. 1 pick. He took over Clemson’s starting quarterback job a few weeks into his freshman year last fall, and looked like a locked in future pro star in leading the Tigers to the national championship. Joe Burrow has taken a much different route to superstardom.
Burrow began his college career in an extremely crowded quarterback room at Ohio State, playing alongside the likes of Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones, and Dwayne Haskins.
He ultimately left for LSU, and after a middling 2018 season, he broke out in a big way this fall. LSU completely transformed its offense into one of the most explosive in the country, and Burrow is set to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.
Now, Burrow could be the top pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. With his home state Cincinnati Bengals in position to get the No. 1 pick, and ready to move on from longtime starter Andy Dalton as evidenced by his benching earlier this year, he will very likely go first.
Most probably view Lawrence, who looks like he was created in an NFL star quarterback factory, as the best NFL prospect in the college ranks right now. Burrow is so good at the things that are valued in modern quarterback play—leadership, accuracy, mobility, among others—that the debate is very muddled.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.‘s opinion has evolved. While they won’t be in the same NFL Draft, as Lawrence is one year removed from eligibility, he says he’d take Burrow over Lawrence if given the choice.
“I would go with the guy who’s been under the microscope against the much tougher schedule, and that’s Joe Burrow.”
— Jerit Roser (@JeritRoser) December 10, 2019
It’s a strong statement, but it is impossible to take any real exception with it. Burrow’s clearly been the best quarterback in the country this year, and he’s won a ton of huge, high-pressure games.
Both quarterbacks will have ample opportunity to impress even more in the next few weeks.
Joe Burrow’s LSU Tigers are the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, while Trevor Lawrence and Clemson are No. 3. We may very well see a Tigers vs. Tigers showdown for a national title next month.