Joe Burrow Scouting Report
Athletic Ability 9.0/10
Burrow is a freak athlete at the quarterback position. He has a big, strong frame with movement ability inside and outside the pocket. He can get outside and run with the ball, throw on the run, and make plays with his legs that I have not seen from a QB his stature. Burrow has the ability to move around all over the field and is a lot of fun to watch. What makes Burrow so special athletically is because he is a 6’4 beast that is as nimble as a guy Kyler Murray’s size. Burrow is a difference maker.
Joe Burrow has become my favorite QB prospect for a number of reasons; but mostly because of the type of person he is. Burrow is an intelligent kid that carries himself with nothing but the most humble attitude. He wants to work and get better and is willing to see his faults and mistakes. He accepts coaching from all levels and works hard to push his teammates to a bigger and better level. He is not the most vocal guy like Cam Newton or Baker Mayfield, but he leads by example and with his play on the field and let that do the talking for him.
Arm Strength 7.4/10
This is my only real major concern with Burrow at the time of this report. His deep ball is very shaky and his arm strength overall is very mediocre at best. He uses a rainbow arc to get the ball to travel deep. This is a problem because the longer the ball hangs in the air; the more time defensive backs have to adjust and find the ball or communicate on the back half of the field. Burrow uses the rainbow arc to try and compensate for the lack of true arm strength that he has. The rainbow allows him to place the ball accurately and it pushes and carries the ball downfield without any amount of force. Burrow will have to realize that with the ball soaring in the air the way it does, it can cause more turnovers against NFL caliber defenses if he is not careful with placement.
I love what Joe Burrow does with ball placement and accuracy. He can fit the ball into tight windows where only the receiver can get to it, and he can thread the needle between defenders to give the offensive weapons a chance at a reception. Really good anticipation on throws and timing is near perfect. On deep passes he uses a rainbow arc technique to drop the ball right into the receivers’ hands to make a play. Burrow lives in the short and intermediate passing games where much of his success comes from 10-25 yards. He can laser the ball into tight window locations and get his receivers into the open field. What makes Burrow so unique is his pin-point accuracy from different launching points and throwing motions. He can deliver the ball just as accurately on the run, or off his back foot as he can with a clean pocket and both feet planted.
LSU takes most of their plays out of the shotgun, with that being said Burrow has a very polished and clean drop-back all around. He will have a tendency to place his front foot away from his intended target which can cause some wild and inconsistent throws at times. He does a really good job at throwing from different angles, so even if he is not 100% planted, he can deliver a nice throw to a receiver in stride.
Pocket awareness was the trait I felt Burrow let me down the most. He struggles with moving around the pocket smartly. He will sometimes want to run but cannot find the correct lane and ends up dancing around in the backfield. Or he will not see the pressure coming and instead of adjusting himself within the pocket, making tiny steps to avoid the rush, he will bail completely and go out and run. If he wants to be successful at the next level he is going to have to be more willing to stand in the pocket during a rush instead of trying to bail and make a run for it.
Like I have mentioned in this report in other sections, Burrow is really mobile both outside the pocket and downfield. Burrow has the ability to find holes in the line of scrimmage and run through them to make plays with his legs as well as roll out away from the pressure and make plays outside the pocket.
Decision Making 8.4/10
One thing that I like about Burrow is he does not make bad decisions or big mistakes. He does not take big risks and if you watch his film his interceptions often times his receivers in the hands. Burrow can thread the ball into tight spaces and just makes throws that puts his team into positions to win.
I touched on this during the awareness trait, but Burrow could use some work when it comes to facing pressure. As mentioned he needs to do a better job at moving within the pocket when faced with pressure and keep his eyes downfield to try and make a play. Has a bad tendency to want to run and bail on the pass play once the pressure gets to him. Because Burrow is so gifted athletically he can still make those throws when faced with pressure but I would like him to be able to stand in and make a throw in the pocket.
Football IQ 8.5/10
What makes Burrow so special is his processing. I have never seen anyone process his reads at the college level as well as Burrow does. He can read underneath coverages extremely well and throw his receivers open. Burrow can deceive defenses with his eye movement. He can move defenses with his eyes to get his number one option open and available to make a play.
Big Game Extra 3.8/5
Overall, I really like the ceiling on Burrow, however I feel he is also so far developed in aspects like mental processing, accuracy and mobility that his ceiling is not as high as other QBs because his floor is higher than other QBs because he is so far ahead in those areas. If he can become smarter with his athletic traits and moving inside and outside the pocket we could see a franchise QB emerge in Joe Burrow.
As much as I love Burrow there are some concerns I have with him. The first and biggest concern for me is his arm strength, or lack thereof. He floats the ball up in a high arcing style and it concerns me because defensive backs are given more time to adjust and find the ball. I understand why Burrow does it as he tries to overcompensate for a lack of true strength, but it has its serious concerns. The other major concern I wanted to touch on is his lack of IQ when it comes to mobility within the pocket; Burrow often times will want to move around and find a gap to scramble away, but he gets caught with the pressure coming up on him. He needs to be better at deciphering pressure and finding running lanes if he wants to scramble as much as he does on film.
Joe Burrow is going to be a topic of conversation for the many months of this draft process, just because of his meteoric rise in the LSU offense and within draft boards. He has one of the most accurate arms I have ever seen in college football in my years of scouting, and has an athletic frame that gives him distinct advantages on the field, but he will have to find ways to compensate for his lack of deep ball. This can be solved by becoming smarter when it comes to moving in the pocket. Burrow has a very high floor and the ability to be a franchise QB for someone in the NFL. Even if he does not end the year as my QB 1 he will definitely be one of my favorite prospects in this class.
Pro Comparison: Matt Ryan
Overall Grade: 87.2