What fortune may come for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020 is still a while away from finding fruition.
A look into the statistical paths taken by rookie quarterbacks in starting roles simply doesn’t bode well for an immediate turnaround for the Bengals with Burrow at the helm, however.
Since the year 2000, 50 rookie quarterbacks have started eight or more games in their first year, per NFL Research, and only 13 (26 percent) have produced a winning record as a starter.
Burrow also has the added pomp, circumstance and pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick. A top pick hasn’t been part of a winning team in his rookie season since Jadeveon Clowney in 2014 with the Texans, and a quarterback taken with the top selection hasn’t been a member of a winning squad in his rookie campaign since Andrew Luck with the Colts in 2012.
Brooks: Bengals offer three key advantages for Joe Burrow
Since the start of the current century, 34 of those aforementioned 50 rookie quarterbacks had losing records, per NFL Research. The last to produce a winning mark was Dak Prescott with the Cowboys in 2016. While Burrow comes with a more celebrated resume than Prescott emerged from college with, the Bengals realistically have a larger hill to take than the 2016 Cowboys did.
Then again, it’s been done before.
The last quarterback to do it in the AFC North was one Andy Dalton in 2011. As a rookie Red Rifle, Dalton produced a 9-7 record for the Bengals, beginning every game that season starting under center.
Regardless of wins and losses, if Burrow becomes the Bengals starter in his first season out, it will be another seldom-seen occurrence in Cincinnati.
Though the Bengals have been around since 1968, Dalton is the first and thus far only quarterback to start five or more games in his rookie campaign.
With the Bengals quarterback room likely the least experienced in the league, chances are Burrow can and will become the second Bengals rookie QB to get five or more starts.
After that, it’s difficult to predict quick success when such an arduous road lies ahead for any rookie starting quarterback. Then again, Burrow turned in one of history’s greatest college football seasons last year with the LSU Tigers and that’s precisely why the Bengals have tabbed him to change their franchise’s history going forward.
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