"Burrow has incredible accuracy, maneuvers in the pocket with skill and battles all game long," McShay wrote. "The Bengals need a franchise quarterback to truly fire up their rebuild, and Burrow has all the makings of a future star in the NFL."
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is fresh off a record-breaking senior campaign at LSU and led the Tigers' undefeated run to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Burrow reportedly met with Bengals owner Mike Brown during February's scouting combine:
McShay projected Ohio State defensive end Chase Young to land in Washington at No. 2 overall followed by Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah being picked by the Detroit Lions at No. 3, Clemson pass-rusher Isaiah Simmons going to the New York Giants at No. 4 and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being drafted by the Miami Dolphins at No. 5.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller reported earlier Monday "multiple teams prefer" Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert over Tagovailoa:
McShay predicted Herbert will go at No. 9 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Many have linked Herbert with the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6, but McShay had L.A. instead going with Utah State quarterback Jordan Love:
"Yes, this is a bit of a reach, but the Chargers struck out in the Tom Brady sweepstakes, and they are looking for long-term answers under center. (They can live in the short term with Tyrod Taylor.) Could free agents Cam Newton or Jameis Winston be in play? Maybe. I'm told Los Angeles likes all four of the top quarterbacks in the draft class—and this pick could end up being Oregon's Justin Herbert, too—but Love has the arm to make NFL-caliber throws and should be available here at No. 6."
If the top 10 shakes out the way McShay projected, four quarterbacks will be off the board.
Burrow propelled himself to the top of the 2020 class by producing one of the best college seasons ever by a quarterback, but he was also boosted on draft boards by Tagovailoa's season-ending dislocated hip suffered in mid-November.
Tagovailoa was on track to be the 2020 top pick after his 2018 Heisman finalist campaign. The 22-year-old eased some concerns by posting a video last week of footwork and throwing drills:
Quarterbacks aside, Young broke OSU's single-season sack record with 16.5 last season. The 6'5", 264-pounder was compared to three-time All-Pro Julius Peppers by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein and has been considered by many the best overall prospect. However, the Bengals' need at quarterback is too glaring for them to pass on Burrow.
Okudah notched a career-high three interceptions and 34 tackles as a junior in 2019. He bolstered his stock at the combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and recorded a 41-inch vertical jump.
But nobody had a better combine than Simmons:
The draft is set for April 23-25, though it will not be held as scheduled in Las Vegas because of the coronavirus pandemic.