Joe Burrow understands what he will be tasked to overcome when he enters the NFL.
During a radio interview on Tuesday morning, the former LSU quarterback and projected No. 1 overall pick in next week's NFL draft was asked about playing for a franchise that hasn't enjoyed recent success.
The Cincinnati Bengals, the franchise with the first pick, haven't made the playoffs since 2015 or won a playoff game since 1991. Burrow described the task ahead of him if he is taken at the top of the draft that starts next Thursday.
"Whatever team I go to, it's going to be a challenge to begin in," Burrow told the ESPN Radio affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "I'm going to have to persevere through it, just like I've done in the past."
Burrow did not mention the Bengals by name, which is consistent with his approach to similar questions in several pre-draft interviews. At the NFL scouting combine in February, Burrow said the hesitancy stemmed from being presumptuous about who the Bengals will take.
In the latest mock draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., Cincinnati is projected to take Burrow. If that happens, he will join a franchise that went 2-14 last season, the league's worst record.
Burrow noted how the draft process used by the NFL and other sports leagues differs from those in other professions.
"Engineers don't get drafted to certain companies," Burrow told the Louisiana radio station. "That's kind of peculiar in the capitalistic ways of the United States. But that's how it is. And the teams that have the worst year pick at that the top and that's why they're there."
If the Bengals select him, he could be in a position to become Cincinnati's starting quarterback whenever the 2020 season begins. The start date is in jeopardy of changing because of COVID-19, which already nixed Burrow's pro day at LSU and will at the very least delay the start of offseason workouts.
The projected top pick said complications caused by the global pandemic creates more uncertainty in joining a team such as the Bengals.
"You might have a really good first year," Burrow said. "You might have a really bad first year. You don't really know, especially without OTAs this year. You're going to have less time with your team. So there's going to be ups and downs, for sure. You're just going to have to battle through it."