Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo — MES Sports South
Every once and while things just seem to fall into place most often at the least unexpected time. It’s like when you finally are dealt that royal flush you never thought you would be holding. For the Cincinnati Bengals, they are holding that royal flush with the #1 overall pick in this evening’s NFL Draft. After a beyond disappointing season, they might have finally have found their answer, their resurrection, and their light in Joey Burrows.
While Burrows may have made his name in the swamps and bayous of Baton Rouge and will forever be a legend at LSU his roots will always lie in the state of Ohio. It is where his bloodlines run deep and while I could think of some great fits for Burrows. There is something to be said when an athlete has a chance to turn things around in his home state.
In a time of uncertainty and the unknown these are the moments where you want the perfect prospect like Joey Burrows to be that hometown hero. Not solely because of his impeccable athletic abilities as a QB but also for his character as a man. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the sporting world on just a player’s athletic ability and forget about other reasons that will make him a success in a franchise like character and heart. It is those things on top of athletic ability and God given talent are what can be a game changer for years to come.
It would be foolish for the Bengals not to bank on Burrows if given the chance. Yes, the rush and a pursuit of a high speed “Chase” is invigorating and all for Cincy but would it be worth it in the long haul for the Bengals? As great a player and prospect Ohio State’s Chase Young is the Bengals need an anchor and young blood to rebuild. Chase is not that for the Bengals at the moment. It’s got to be about fit, not other things that do not matter when you are building a team to win Superbowls.
Burrows unlike many #1 draft prospects is grace under pressure and may play flashy but he plays humble and smart. He’s a team player and his team plays with him, not against him. He’s one of those kids that just has another level of swag and not the obnoxious kind. No one can tell me that a kid doesn’t have a heart for this game. He built himself up in a program that needed salvation when he transferred to LSU that is why the Bengals need dat boy and dem bones tonight. But until the clock has expired and the call has been made will Joey Burrows become a virtual reality in the Bengals locker room? Would you flush a hand like that down the drain I think not!
Tonight it’s about taking a step back and getting back to the roots of why this game makes America great. It won’t be about spectacles and pageantry, it will be about the game of football, players and franchises at their most vulnerable form their life outside cameras and the football field. Perhaps even in all this destruction and disaster that forced our nation to be put in this predicament step by step we all will find our roots and thrive again and become that perfect prospect in our own game of life.
Tune in and see the NFL Draft in a whole new experience and don’t forget there are many ways this evening that you can support the fight against COVID-19 during the NFL Draft Virtual Events.
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL beat writer. She is our Sr. Editor and columnist for MESPORTS digital. A Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011