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#pounditFriday, March 1, 2024

Zac Taylor reveals best NFL Draft prospect he has ever seen

Zac Taylor in a hat

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor before playing against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has drafted instant game-changers in recent years, including Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. But neither are at the top of his all-time draft board.

During a pre-draft press conference on Monday, Taylor was asked to name the best draft prospect he’s ever seen on tape.

“Probably Andrew Luck,” Taylor told reporters. “He was just the total package. Size, speed, strength, football IQ, tangibles, background, productivity at Stanford. It was just the total package.”

Taylor was then asked about not choosing Burrow, whom the Bengals drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2020. Taylor had a funny reaction before altering his initial answer.

“I wasn’t thinking about my own players,” Taylor said after a laugh. “[Burrow] would definitely be the answer. That’s a horrible answer by me because he absolutely is the answer to that, but I’m thinking more of guys I scouted as a position coach. I revise my answer as Joe Burrow, and then Andrew Luck.”

“[Burrow] never lost, shattered every record known to man. Easiest decision we’ve ever made. I think you all agree.”

All jokes aside, Taylor can’t go wrong with either player as his choice.

Both Luck and Burrow were No. 1 picks in their respective drafts, and helped lead quick turnarounds to success for their franchises.

In six seasons, Luck threw for 23,671 yards and 171 touchdowns. He made four Pro Bowls, including one during his rookie season in 2012. In 2014, Luck threw for a career-high in both touchdowns (40) and yards (4,761), and led the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC Championship Game. He lived up to the pre-draft hype before retiring ahead of the 2019 season due to injuries that wore on him.

Burrow tore his ACL during his rookie season in 2020, but still managed to throw for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games.

In 2021, Burrow threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, and had a league-best 70.4 completion percentage. More importantly, he led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.

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