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Bengals Clinch No. 1 Overall Pick in 2020 NFL Draft; Linked to LSU QB Joe Burrow

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) scrambles during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M, in Baton Rouge, La. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is The Associated Press college football player of the year in a landslide vote.  Burrow, who has led the top-ranked Tigers to an unbeaten season and their first College Football Playoff appearance, received 50 of 53 first-place votes from AP Top 25 poll voters and a total of 156 points.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Bengals officially clinched the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft with a dramatic 38-35 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.   

Cincinnati forced overtime after a wild finish in which it recovered an onside kick, scored on a late Tyler Eifert touchdown with no time remaining, and then Andy Dalton ran in the ensuing two-point conversion.

NFL @NFL

ANDY DALTON TO TYLER EIFERT! #SeizeTheDEY #CINvsMIA 📺: CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/csMF3GLW6Z https://t.co/OppKOljrop

NFL @NFL

.@andydalton14 ties it up on the two-point attempt! We're going to OT! #SeizeTheDEY #CINvsMIA 📺: CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/csMF3GLW6Z https://t.co/MZlG2QuaFq

However, the Dolphins managed to win the game with a 37-yard Jason Sanders field goal with no time remaining in the overtime period.

NFL @NFL

Jason Sanders is GOOD from 37 yards out. The @MiamiDolphins win in overtime! #CINvsMIA #FinsUp https://t.co/TEB7KScBaD

It marks the first time since 2003 that Cincinnati will own the top pick in the draft. That year, the franchise drafted 2002 Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer out of USC.

It's the consolation prize for the Bengals amid a miserable 2019 season that has seen them go just 1-14, bench longtime franchise quarterback Andy Dalton for a chunk of the year and watch star wideout A.J. Green miss the entire season to injury. 

Very little has gone right for the Bengals this year. But the franchise may be about to land a major game-changer.

The pick will likely come down to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. B/R's Matt Miller had Young at No. 1 and Burrow No. 2 on his Dec. 10 big board.

It would be surprising if the Bengals passed on an opportunity to secure their franchise quarterback of the future. Burrow has been incredible this season, throwing for 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns and just six interceptions while completing 77.9 percent of his passes.

Quarterback is Cincy's top need. But Young may be the best overall player in the draft after posting 44 tackles (21 for loss), 16.5 sacks, three pass deflections and seven forced fumbles. He's an absolute force off the edge and would give Cincy's front seven a major boost.

Passing up on a potential franchise quarterback could haunt this franchise for years to come, however. Expect Burrow to be the pick. In Cincy, he should breathe life into a franchise that has posted four straight losing seasons and hasn't won a playoff game in almost 30 years. The Bengals last won a postseason game in 1990. They've gone 0-7 in the postseason since.

Perhaps Burrow can be the savior.