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College Sports

LSU’s Joe Burrow acknowledges he has ‘leverage’ over Bengals

 

Robin Burrow is just laughing off rumors about her son, LSU quarterback and possible No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, not wanting to play for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We have no idea where that comes from,” Robin said. “It’s a story out there that someone has created that doesn’t have any substance — from our perspective at least.”

Joe Burrow’s father, Jimmy, agreed. The family is just happy to see their son in the conversation as the top overall pick.

“At this time last year, the reality was, ‘Hey, we hope you have a good enough year to be drafted in the middle rounds,’” Jimmy said. “If you have a great year, maybe move up the draft board. We would have never envisioned him making the rise that he did.”

That rise to the top of the quarterback class could allow Joe to try and dictate his next destination such as what Eli Manning did in 2004 in getting the San Diego Chargers to trade him to the New York Giants.

It’s a story that’s surely going to remain a talking point as the pre-draft process goes on. Joe himself acknowledged that his play last season has given him leverage going into the NFL Draft.

“I do have leverage,” Burrow said. “[The Bengals] have their process and I have my process. We haven’t even gotten to the Combine yet. There’s a lot of things to happen. Right now, I’m focused on being the best football player I can be.

“I’m in this unique spot. You can go watch my film. I don’t have to prove myself at pro day and at the combine. I’m in a unique spot where I can really focus on getting ready for the season.”

Burrow is preparing for the NFL Combine in Southern California, working out with former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer. Jordan Palmer and his older brother, former No. 1 overall pick Carson, both played for the Bengals.

Carson recently ripped the Bengals for not chasing a Super Bowl during his time with the organization. Carson was the Bengals’ choice when they last had the No. 1 overall pick in 2003.

Burrow said he hasn’t talked with the Palmers about playing for the Bengals organization.

“If we do have the conversation, it’ll happen down the road,” Burrow said. “We’re super focused. I’ve only been there a week. It’s all ball right now.”

For now, Burrow is focused on going through the pre-draft process and readying himself for the NFL Scouting Combine next week. Despite the Bengals speculation, Burrow would love to be the top overall pick.

“Everyone does dream of that,” Burrow said. “I’ve had a lot of people who have helped put me in this position. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months, 12 months for me, and I have great people around me. The fact that I’m even in this position is a blessing for me.”

His father, Jimmy, agreed.

“We’re just all happy that he’s put himself in position to be discussed as the No. 1 possible draft choice,” Jimmy said. “There’s so much to happen between now and draft day, we’ll just wait and see.”

As far as next week’s Combine, Burrow said it’s “to be determined” what tests he participates in.

Burrow and his family were in Fort Worth for the 43rd annual Davey O’Brien Foundation Awards Dinner on Monday night at the Fort Worth Club. Burrow won the award after throwing for 4,715 yards and an SEC-record 48 touchdowns in the regular season.

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