Urban Meyer: 'Competitive Maniac' Joe Burrow an 'Absolute No-Brainer' in NFL

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2020

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer talks to on his headset as quarterback Joe Burrow (10) talks to a different person, during a time out in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Ohio State won 56-14. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer hardly had a chance to coach quarterback Joe Burrow in big games before he transferred to LSU. 

Burrow spent three seasons in Columbus, redshirting one and backing up J.T. Barrett for the other two until Dwayne Haskins beat him out for the starting role in 2018. That doesn't mean Meyer isn't still a fan of the man who's slated to become the NFL's latest No. 1 overall draft pick.

"Joe Burrow is a no-brainer," Meyer told NFL Media via Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. "Absolute no-brainer. Can he throw as accurately as Dwayne? He's improved, but he wasn't that way. But his leadership skills, his toughness, competitive...you talk about a competitive maniac, that's who Joe Burrow is.”

The obvious question then becomes why Burrow never got a chance to start for Ohio State? Well, according to Meyer, Burrow's high school basketball career was to blame. 

"Joe was a little behind," Meyer said. "You know why? Joe was also Mr. Ohio in basketball and they had a great team in the state championships, and he's just one of those all-purpose tough guy leaders."

That much was proved at LSU last season when Burrow put together arguably the greatest season by a quarterback in NCAA history. He led Division I in passing yards (5,671), touchdowns (60), completion percentage (76.3) and nabbed a national championship and Heisman Trophy along the way. 

Now Burrow, who grew up in Athens, Ohio, is likely heading back to his home state as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, who are expected to take him with the top pick when the NFL draft kicks off April 23. 

Meyer and Burrow will always be linked together, just not in the way either expected when the quarterback first stepped on campus in 2015. As he gets ready to make the leap to the pros, Meyer is still in his corner and hoping for the best.