Joe Burrow reached out to Peyton Manning last week to pick the retired star quarterback's mind about what it's like to be the top pick in the NFL Draft. It was yet another indication that Burrow is ready to take on that challenge.
Everyone expects the Burrow to be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft this week. The fact that the LSU quarterback humbled himself to reach out to someone who blazed that path before him says a lot about the young man's character.
Manning discussed the conversation on a Sunday edition of SportsCenter and revealed that Burrow was basically just asking for advice. Here's what he had to say about the conversation:
""He called me about some of the things that I tried to do as a rookie that maybe he can apply to his NFL career. Looks like it's going to be for the Cincinnati Bengals. What I told him, 'Look, Joe, if you're the first pick in the NFL draft, you are going to a team that has earned the first pick in the NFL draft. There are going to be some holes there. There's a reason the Colts were picking No. 1 that year. There's a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year.'""
He said Burrow will learn just as much about himself and the NFL during the tough times as he will through the good times. And, frankly, that's the biggest lesson here. We rarely judge rookie quarterbacks too harshly because the gap between college and the NFL is so wide. It takes time to get adjusted. Plus, if you're being selected highly you're likely going to a bad team.
Burrow clearly wants to know what's in store for him and he had to know Manning would give it to him straight. The five-time MVP and future Hall of Famer has absolutely no reason to sugar coat things. Burrow had to know that before he called and clearly was willing to embrace the truth. It's just another reason to love the kid's attitude.
If he winds up on the Bengals, Burrow might actually have some nice weapons around him, but the team is likely to struggled for a few years. He has to embrace his rookie year as a chance to learn and get better regardless of results. If he does that, he has a chance to be really good.