Former LSU football quarterback Joe Burrow had no problems in early 2020 when he and his teammates went head-to-head against Trevor Lawrence and Clemson.
LSU beat Clemson 42-25 in New Orleans to claim the national championship.
Burrow lit up the stat sheet in that matchup, tossing for 463 yards and five touchdowns.
Lawrence wasn’t quite as impressive, throwing for 234 yards and zero touchdowns.
Despite the head-to-head dominance and the fact that Burrow had the greatest season ever by a college football quarterback in 2019, it appears that Lawrence is the higher rated quarterback prospect of the two.
USA Today noted this week that ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has Lawrence ranked just above Burrow as a draft prospect.
Burrow was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Lawrence will almost certainly be the No. 1 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Mel Kiper could be wrong about Joe Burrow vs Trevor Lawrence
I understand why Kiper and other draft analysts would have Lawrence above Burrow if the two players were in the same draft class.
There’s no doubt that Lawrence is the more physically gifted of the two.
Lawrence has a big arm, prototypical size, accuracy, and the ability to go off-script when a play breaks down. The Georgia native is also athletic for his size (6-foot-6/220 lbs), which makes him even more dangerous.
So yes, from a pure skills standpoint, Lawrence is the more gifted player.
But Burrow has the intangibles. He’s arguably the best leader I’ve seen at the collegiate level. The same traits that are present in Tom Brady (the former sixth-round NFL draft pick that all the scouts missed on), I see in Burrow.
The former LSU signal-caller makes his teammates better. His will to win is undeniable.
And Burrow is pretty good at throwing a football, too.
Now, that’s not to say Lawrence isn’t a great leader or doesn’t have an insane will to win. He certainly does, or he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in today.
But there’s something different about Burrow. Something special. And that “something” is why I’d take Burrow over Lawrence any day.