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Bengals reportedly settle on who team will select with No. 1 pick

The Cincinnati Bengals are already on the clock with the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and even with more than two months before the big event in Las Vegas, it appears the team has settled on who will be wearing their hat onstage in Sin City.

While there has been some speculation that the Bengals could conceivably deviate from a near-universal consensus concerning their draft plans, it sounds like Joe Burrow – the prohibitive favorite to go with the No. 1 pick — is Cincy’s man.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tackled the Burrow/Bengals topic in a recent column. He writes that the Bengals have “clearly signaled” they will draft Burrow, but will not officially announce it in nod to the NFL’s unwritten rule concerning such matters.

The widespread belief has long been that the Bengals would go the Burrow route as the team searches for a replacement for Andy Dalton, who will be moving on one way or another in 2020. Having said that, there have been developments that seemingly could throw a wrench in the Bengals’ best-laid plans.

There has been no shortage of chatter about Burrow’s apparent uneasiness with joining a Bengals organization that has failed to win a postseason game since 1991. The suspicion is that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, despite spending much of his formative years in Ohio, presumably feels he would be better served joining a more stable organization.

There have been a few instances in draft history where a player, frequently a quarterback, played hardball with a team set to select them. John Elway and Eli Manning are the most notable examples.

One NFL GM, however, doesn’t believe Burrow will go that extreme route.

 “If you’re Burrow, you probably don’t love the idea of being a Bengal, but you’re too good of a kid to ever say that,” he said. “So you just sit and let the rumors happen, and maybe someone like Carolina or Miami trades everything they have to come get you. It’s not the worst move ever.”