Burrow has reportedly reached out to Manning for advice, and Manning has been happy to help him as much as he can.
Of course, Manning wants Burrow to succeed in the NFL and even cheers for Burrow to break one of his rookie records.
More on that later, let’s first compare the 2 quarterbacks at the beginning of their NFL careers.
Peyton Manning reveals the NFL record he'd be ok with Joe Burrow breaking. pic.twitter.com/9CTvG8PFIN
— NESN (@NESN) April 19, 2020
Manning and the Colts – The Early Years
Peyton Manning was the first overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft.
The Colts had come off a dismal 3-13 record in the 1997 season which is how they found themselves with the first overall pick.
As Manning told Burrow, he joined a team with plenty of holes.
It took time to fill those holes.
He reminded Burrow that his NFL career will be a marathon, not a sprint.
Manning had to endure a 3-13 1998 rookie season record.
He lost more games in his rookie season than he lost during his entire career at Tennessee.
Always a student of the game, Manning tried to be a patient learner during his rookie year.
And it worked, the Colts made the playoffs in Manning’s 2nd season.
Burrow and the Bengals
When (as it appears imminent) Joe Burrow is drafted by the Bengals on Thursday, he will have a similar mountain to climb.
Riding high from winning the National Championship with LSU and the Heisman Trophy, Burrow’s 2020 has been exceptional.
— NFL (@NFL) April 14, 2020
However, he will be joining a Bengals team who finished 2-14 in 2019.
Burrow’s predecessor at Cincinnati, Andy Dalton, threw 14 INTs, was sacked 37 times, and fumbled the ball 8 times in 2019.
And he only played in 13 games last season.
Those numbers are not pretty, and they point to bigger problems beyond Dalton.
A QB needs protection from a solid offensive line, a reliable running game, and receivers who can find a way to get open and make plays.
Cincinnati will try to build around Joe Burrow, but the 2020 NFL Draft will be just the beginning.
It will take a season or so to put all the pieces together.
Just as the Colts rebounded in 1999 to go 13-3 and make the playoffs, the same could happen for the Bengals in Burrow’s 2nd year or beyond.
Another HOF Comparison
In addition to Manning, Burrow could call Troy Aikman for advice since his path was similar.
Aikman was the 1st pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1989 draft and struggled to stay upright for the entire 1989 season.
The Cowboys finished 1-15 his rookie year.
3 Super Bowl Championships followed in the early 1990s as the Cowboys overcame Aikman’s rookie struggles.
Manning’s Rookie Record
In jest, Peyton Manning said he would happily bequeath his rookie INT record to Joe Burrow this year.
It should be noted that Manning told Peter King in 2014 that he roots for a rookie quarterback to break this record every season.
Manning threw 28 INTs in 1998.
That is the lone blemish on Manning’s stellar resume, and he is very eager to shed it.
Watch Joe Burrow take his place in NFL history as the 1st overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft beginning April 23.