For years Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has been a highly coveted draft prospect, but can he go first overall?
It's not likely but never say never.
The heavy favorite to be selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, has recently said he has "leverage" over Cincinnati: “They have their process and I have my process. We haven’t even gotten to the (NFL) combine yet. There’s a lot of things that happen leading up to the draft and a lot of information gathered."
Now, he's receiving advice to force his way away from the Bengals.
At the Davey O'Brien Award event Sunday evening, former No. 1 overall pick Steve Bartkowski said he believes Burrow should "pull an Eli Manning" to avoid being drafted by the Bengals, according to Drew Davison of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram.
If it’s the Bengals, I think I’d pull an Eli Manning on that one. I said, you’ve got a chance to do that. That’s happened. [John] Elway kind of set the tone, then the Mannings delved into it after Eli was picked by San Diego.
The Bengals are considered one of the worst run franchises in the NFL having not won a playoff game since 1990, and Bartkowski doesn't want to see Burrow's career ruined like his was after being selected by another poorly ran franchise at the time: the Atlanta Falcons in 1975.
“I know what it’s like to go to a bottom-feeder team. I’d hate to see that happen to him, to be honest. They beat me up. I spent more time at the hospital recuperating from injuries my first three years than I did throwing touchdowns. It was tough.”
If Burrow would listen to Bartkowski and the Bengals didn't draft Burrow anyways, they may decide to go with Herbert instead.
To jumpstart the draft process, the Eugene native impressed all week at Senior Bowl practice, including Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.
He’s very talented physically. He’s got prototypical size and athletic ability. He has a really, really strong arm. On top of that, he’s extremely intelligent and he’s very conscientious. He gathers information, he can process it and he can call it. He went under center for the first time, probably, in his career and he answered that bell with flying colors. Every day I continue to be impressed with the things we ask him to do and he answers really well.
Herbert was named the MVP of both the Senior Bowl practices and the Senior Bowl itself after passing for 83 yards on 9-of-13 passing and a touchdown.
However, Ducks fans may be rooting for Herbert to go later in the draft to a team more ready to compete, like the Los Angeles Chargers at sixth overall.
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