Going into the the 2020 NFL Draft, the Washington Football Team had a pretty good idea of what would go down. The Bengals would take either Heisman-winning QB Joe Burrow or Ohio State star defensive end Chase Young.
Head coach Ron Rivera says the Washington game plan was to draft whichever of the two Cincinnati didn’t select. With the No. 2 pick, Rivera and the WFT front office ended up drafting Young. The Bengals took Burrow first overall.
Young showed some great promise for Washington early, bursting onto the NFL scene with 2.5 sacks and eight tackles in his first two games. This being said, the DE hasn’t had near the immediate culture-shifting affect as the rookie sensation Burrow.
Rivera says he loves everything about the young quarterback’s game.
“We feel like championships are won by playing good defense. We felt pretty strongly about him [Young]. The only other option we felt was a viable one for us was [Joe] Burrow and obviously he was taken by Cincinnati,” Rivera said on Wednesday, via Sports Illustrated. “We think Joe is the full package. We really do. We think Chase is the full package. Depending on what Cincinnati did, that’s what we were going to do. The opposite. We didn’t think we would lose out either way. We really didn’t. We think both players are going to be great players and have great careers and we’re fired up that we have Chase.”
Washington shocked many across the league when they chose not to take a quarterback. With Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert still on the board, there were certainly some viable options. But, Rivera maintains Burrow was the only QB for them in this class.
“He’s going to be a solid player in this league for a very long time. In fact, he’ll be better than solid,” Rivera said. “I like him. I think he’s a solid young man. I really enjoyed my opportunity to talk with him and listen to him talk about things. I think he’s a guy who’s going to continue to grow. I really do. He’s done nothing but be impressive the way he’s handling things, the way he’s gone about his business.”
The former LSU standout has already thrown for 2,485 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. While the Bengals’ record of 2-6-1 looks bad on paper, they’ve already reached their win total from last year. It’s pretty clear that Burrow has the franchise moving in the right direction.
For Washington on the other hand, it’s looking like more of the same. The organization’s decision to not draft a QB second overall proved even more costly as the season progressed.
The WFT drafted another Buckeye in the first round when they selected quarterback Dwayne Haskins 15th overall iv 2019. After a rough couple of starts in the first four games of the season, Rivera famously benched the rookie for Kyle Allen. When Allen was injured in Week 7, Haskins wasn’t even the next man up as Alex Smith took over under center.
Rivera certainly wishes he had Burrow in a maroon uniform right now as he’s team now sits with a 2-7 record.
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