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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Quarterback Joe Burrow taken first in the 2020 NFL Draft

The draft was due to be held in Las Vegas but took place virtually owing to the coronavirus.

Top pick: Joe Burrow.
Top pick: Joe Burrow.

THE CINCINNATI BENGALS have picked quarterback Joe Burrow with the first pick of this season’s NFL Draft.

The draft was due to be held in Las Vegas, but took place virtually owing to the coronavirus with teams sending their picks to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who announced them from his basement.

The three-day event is the second biggest on the NFL calendar – after the Super Bowl – as the 32 teams select 255 newly eligible players.

Burrow won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in NCAA football in 2019, with previous winners including Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton and Marcus Mariota.

The Bengals had the first pick after recording the league’s worst record of 2-14 in 2019 and Burrow was widely tipped to be the first pick.

“Nobody’s allowed to make fun of me tonight none of the barbershops are open,” he tweeted before the draft began.

Watching from his family home in Athens County, Ohio, the former LSU player watched Goodell announce his name and donned the cap for his new team.

He told ESPN: “I knew I was going to have a really good season … but to jump up to No. 1 overall is crazy to me. But it’s a dream come true.”

Two Ohio State players went in the second and third picks, with Chase Young and Jeff Okudah heading to the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions respectively.

Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas was brought in to shore up the New York Giants’ protection for their quarterback Daniel Jones with the fourth pick, while quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert were picked next for the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers.

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Four quarterbacks were drafted in the first round, six wide receivers, one running back, one centre and six offensive tackles.

On the defensive side, two defensive ends were drafted, two defensive tackles, four linebackers, and six cornerbacks.

The Bengals will start the second round of the draft on Saturday.

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