Joe Burrow won’t have any trouble adjusting to the NFL’s bright lights following his selection as the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, former New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Marques Colston told FOX Business in an interview Friday.
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Burrow is expected to become the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting quarterback as a rookie later this fall, inheriting a leading role on a team that posted a dismal 2-14 record last season. Colston, who was a top target for future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees for 10 seasons, said Burrow’s decorated college career with Louisiana State University showed he is ready for the challenge.
“Just watching him this last year, just watching him play his best football on the biggest stages, you know he’s somebody that’s ready for the moment,” Colston said. “Hearing his personality come through in interviews and from everything I’ve seen about him, you know the moment is not going to be too big for him.”
Burrow rewrote the college football record book last season, tossing 60 touchdown passes en route to a Heisman Trophy nod and a national championship win last January. In Cincinnati, the 23-year-old star will be asked to lead a talented but injury-plagued offense that includes running back Joe Mixon and wide receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross.
Colston knows what it’s like to catch passes from a bona fide star quarterback. A seventh-round draft pick, he established a dominant downfield connection with Brees and led the Saints in every major receiving category during the team’s Super Bowl season in 2009. He was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2019.
“I think he’s going to walk into a situation where he’s got some weapons and I think he’ll do really well and really thrive in that offense with [Bengals head coach] Zac Taylor,” Colston added about Burrow’s NFL prospects.
As the first overall pick, Burrow is projected to sign a four-year deal worth $36.2 million. Aside from a life-changing contract, he has already a sought-after athlete endorser, inking deals this offseason with Fanatics, Buffalo Wild Wings, Lowe’s and other companies.
A sudden influx of cash and business-related responsibilities can be disorienting for any young player, let alone one with the steep expectations facing Burrow in Cincinnati.
Colston transitioned to a career as an entrepreneur in retirement and helped launch a business program for athletes at Columbia University in New York. He advised Burrow to take an active role in his finances – but not at the expense of his on-field career.
“It’s a tough balancing act because as a young player, your job is really to go in and perform on the field. He’s got to be laser-focused on that,” Colston said. “At the same time, his life is literally about to change overnight. I would just urge him and any other young player to learn as much as possible about what’s going on with the finances, with the endorsement deals, and set yourself on a path. It’s going to take you a while, but you want to continue to learn as much as you can with the goal to ultimately become self-sufficient."