The Cincinnati Bengals will have the first overall choice in the 2020 NFL draft that begins on Thursday April 23rd. Cincinnati finished it's 2019 regular season with an overall record of 2-14 and will have the opportunity to select their player of the future with the No. 1 selection. Most football pundits believe the Bangles will choose former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as their No. 1 selection in the draft.
There has been talk that the Bengals may trade down to pick up a few extra draft choices yet still choose a quarterback in the first round such as Oregon's Justin Herbert or Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. Regardless of whether Cincinnati holds onto its No. 1 pick or trades it away, it appears more likely than not that veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will no longer be a part of the Bengals future.
In leading the LSU Tigers to a national championship this past January, Burrow threw for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The strong-arm Burrow has great size at 6-foot-4 and 216 lbs, but some doubters believe the signal-caller’s hands are too small. Burrow was an unknown for most of the country at the start of the 2019 season but with 60 touchdown passes the single caller won the Heisman Trophy and became the odds on favorite to be picked number one overall.
The current Bengals' quarterbacks include Dalton, Ryan Finley and Jake Dolegala which means Cincinnati will insert the number one choice as their starting quarterback from day one. Burrow has been the consensus number one quarterback on nearly every scouting analysts’ report but Tagovailoa is a close second with only a few doubts over being prone to injury.
Another reason the Bengals will pick a quarterback as their number one choice is Dalton is set to receive $17.7 million in the final year of his contract during 2020 and that's far too much to pay a mentor quarterback or backup. Finley started three games last season for the Bengals and lost each of the three while Dolegala is an undrafted free agent out of college. In 2019, the 6-foot-7 Dolegala did not take a snap the entire regular season.
Cincinnati won just two of its 16 regular-season games in 2019. The Bengals gave the ball to then rookie Ryan Finley early in the regular season but Finley lasted just three games as the starter before veteran Andy Dalton returned and played the remainder of the season under center. With the selection of Joe Burrow as the number one overall choice, the franchise will move on from the Andy Dalton era and have a solid foundation to build upon while Burrow will be thrown into the fray from day one.