Last season, Kyler Murray led all rookie quarterbacks with 3,722 passing yards. Caesars Sportsbook thinks this year’s No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow will surpass that number, with his over/under set at 3,764.5 passing yards. This begs the question: is Burrow being overvalued, or do the NFL experts think the Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise quarterback has what it takes to out perform every rookie quarterback from last year?
Joe Burrow’s senior year of college saw the elite quarterback prospect win the national championship with LSU, the Heisman trophy, and finish ranked first in almost every major category according to PFF. Not only was Burrow the best college quarterback last season, but his 61.6% completion rate on passes deeper than 10 yards set a PFF collegiate record. Burrow is also notable for his lack of mistakes last season, with his 13.7% uncatchable passes ranking best in the league among all quarterbacks with at least 400 passses. This may be the most important statistic carrying Burrow into his rookie year in a division filled with three dangerous defenses in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.
Joe Burrow may not have been drafted into the most efficient offense with the Bengals, but he does not need to be as elite as he was with LSU to win this bet. Rather, Burrow only needs to throw for a few more yards than last year’s rookie passing leader, the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray. Murray had an impressive rookie campaign, but as last year’s first overall pick, he was also thrown into an offense that was not ready to win. Despite this, the former Oklahoma quarterback threw for 3,722 yards, almost 700 more than the next best rookie, Daniel Jones of the New York Giants. That being said, Murray was the only rookie quarterback to start all 16 games last season. Burrow, barring injury, is also slated to start every game for Cincinnati. Therefore, we can compare Kyler Murray’s situation in Arizona to predict the potential success of Burrow by comparing the two offenses, while also keeping Burrow’s stellar performance with LSU in consideration.
Burrow, like Murray, will have to scramble behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines, a clear change of pace from LSU. In addition to being one of the most celebrated college prospects since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford, Burrow has the advantage of inheriting more weapons to work with on offense than Murray had during his rookie year. Kyler Murray was working with first and second-year receivers like Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella, as well as an aging Larry Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, Burrow will have a healthy A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and running back Joe Mixon. Even though Burrow will be running for his life in a tough division, he has no shortage of targets who can make big plays in the deep passing game. It will be interesting to see how bookmakers set the NFL spreads for the Bengals versus how they set them for the Cardinals last year. Like we just mentioned this Bengals team, although worst in the NFL last year, still has a ton of talent.
Out of all rookie quarterbacks, Burrow is the most likely to start all 16 games this season. Vegas has his total passing yards at 3,764.5, only a few more yards than his biggest comparison from last year, Kyler Murray, threw for. The two QBs found themselves in similar situations in Year 1, but between Burrow’s slightly more favorable offense in Year 1 as well as his remarkable college pedigree, Joe Burrow should easily hit the over for this bet.
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