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“He’s such a spectacular talent,” Palmer said Wednesday morning. “I think people have really kind of overlooked him by talking about Chase Young and some of these other guys and (Justin) Herbert from Oregon. He seems to be an obvious No. 1 pick.
“I think he can run more than he’s shown and what you saw him do with his legs in the SEC — really the SEC is full of NFL talent on defense — you’ve seen him athletically take over games. You’ve seen him do it in the national championship just dropping dimes left and right all over tight coverage. I think he’s head and shoulders the No. 1 pick.”
Burrow completed 402 of 527 passes for 5,671 yards with six interceptions last season. He also ran for 368 yards and five touchdowns.
In the College Football Playoff National Championship game Jan. 13, he completed 31 of 49 passes for 463 yards as LSU rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat defending national champion Clemson 42-25.
He threw five touchdown passes that night to finish with an NCAA record 60 on the season and completed 76.3 percent of his passes on the year.
Bengals coaches have praised the Athens, Ohio, native but not committed to who they will take with the top pick in April.
In the meantime, Patrick has been among the national media members creating a narrative Burrow might not want to play for the Bengals because of questions about ownership and organizational leadership.
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“Going to Cincy, I’ve been there,” said Palmer, who spent his first eight seasons with the Bengals before his trade request was granted and he landed in Oakland in 2011. “I know how that feels.”
Patrick cut him off at that point, reiterating his concerns (which have not been voiced by Burrow or his father, Jimmy, in interviews since the title game).
“As much as I love Cincinnati, I just worry that Joe going into that environment with that ownership and not having any talent, that’s a recipe for disaster for quarterbacks,” said Patrick, who grew ups as Dan Pugh in Mason and later attended the University of Dayton.
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“Yeah but the one thing — Duke Tobin has done a great job since he’s kind of seems like he’s been leading the charge as far as the draft process goes,” Palmer replied, citing the team’s director of player personnel.
“There’s been some talent there. Whether the organization buys in and is fully going after a Super Bowl and really trying to win a Super Bowl is the other question, but talent-wise they’ve had some good players,” Palmer said. “I was fortunate to play with a lot of really good players. Just the receiver position — Chad Ochocinco (Johnson), T.J. Housmandzadeh, Peter Warrick, on and on — there were some really good skill players on the offensive side of the ball. You’ve still got A.J. Green. Hopefully he says he wants to come back. We’ll see, but they’re drafting No. 1 for a reason. They were the worst football team in the National Football League. So obviously he’s not going into an environment like Patrick Mahomes went into in Kansas City. So we’ll see.”
Palmer played 97 of his 181 career games for the Bengals. He threw for 22,694 yards and 154 touchdowns with Cincinnati, made two Pro Bowls and took the team to the playoffs twice.
The Bengals picked him No. 1 in 2003 after he won the 2002 Heisman Trophy at USC.
Palmer sat for a season behind Jon Kitna before being handed the reins of a team that went 8-8 in 2004.