Joe Burrow turned in arguably the best single-season ever by a college quarterback one year ago. That 2019 Heisman-winning campaign propelled the LSU Tigers to an undefeated season, and for Burrow, it eventually made him the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
By going first overall, Burrow was tasked with becoming the franchise quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that won just two games a season ago.
Taking over a team that had as many holes as Cincinnati, it would have been easy to chalk up the 2020 season as a developmental year for Burrow and the Bengals.
But for Burrow, he's been a winner at every level prior. That mentality doesn't change, even if he joined a team not expected to chalk up a lot of Ws this season.
During a media session this week, Burrow was asked how he plans to measure success this season, other than wins and losses.
"Wins and losses," Burrow responded.
The quarterback's response tells you everything you need to know about Burrow. The best are driven by results, and Burrow knows that his individual success will only go so far.
That charisma from the Bengals quarterback is something that Washington head coach Ron Rivera picked up on quickly when they met at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in February.
“I think he’s got confidence, tremendous confidence in his abilities," Rivera said on Wednesday. "It’s not in a boastful way, either. It’s just kind of matter of fact. You feel it."
The head coach compared that same charisma to the one of Chase Young, Washington's first-round pick of this year's draft, who was selected one pick after Burrow.
"It’s amazing—he and Chase have a certain charisma about the both of them that they both have individually," Rivera said.
When Rivera was the head coach in Carolina, he enjoyed plenty of success with quarterback Cam Newton at the helm. The two of them arrived in Carolina at the same time and went on to win four division titles together, peaking with a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
Although Rivera is now in Washington and Newton is the quarterback in New England, the head coach still raves about his former signal-caller often.
The question about Burrow on Wednesday sparked the head coach to bring up Newton once again, saying the Bengals passer has a similar mindset and presence to his former QB.
"The last time I went through that, we had the first pick when I was in Carolina. We sat down with Cam Newton," Rivera said. "[Burrow and Young] both reminded me of Cam because they both have a certain charisma that you look for in players. Those two are the closest thing that I’ve seen to Cam Newton.”
Rivera had only positive things to say about Burrow, but he's been thrilled with his selection of Young. The top two selections of this year's draft will clash on Sunday for the first time, and both will certainly bring their A game.