The Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Football Team are set to face off this Sunday, and they were holders of the top two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bengals opted to go with former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick, while Washington went with former Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young. The latter was regarded by many as the top player in the 2020 NFL Draft, so it wasn't a tough decision for Washington to make. Young has been a solid pro thus far, as he has recorded 22 combined tackles, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble through eight games, but head coach Ron Rivera recently admitted that he would have drafted Burrow if the Bengals decided to go with Young at No. 1 overall.
"We feel like championships are won by playing good defense," Rivera said on Wednesday, via SI's FanNation. "We felt pretty strongly about him [Young]. The only other option we felt was a viable one for us was [Joe] Burrow and obviously he was taken by Cincinnati. We think Joe is the full package. We really do. We think Chase is the full package. Depending on what Cincinnati did, that's what we were going to do. The opposite. We didn't think we would lose out either way. We really didn't. We think both players are going to be great players and have great careers and we're fired up that we have Chase."
There are a couple of things we can take away from this quote. At first look, some could argue this is a non-story. If Young was the best player in the draft, Burrow was probably the second-best and was coming off a career year. In his final season at LSU, Burrow completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to an undefeated season that was wrapped up with a national championship. No one would have been shocked to see Washington take Burrow if Young went No. 1 overall, but it certainly would have shown that Rivera was not too confident in Dwayne Haskins.
The other question that begs to be asked is who would Rivera have chosen between the two? If the Bengals were sold on either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert instead of Burrow, would Washington have selected Burrow or Young with the No. 2 overall pick? It's likely that we will never know the answer to that question, but we did find out this week that Rivera would have taken Burrow with his top pick if the circumstances allowed for it.