The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and that can only mean three things- mock drafts, trade rumors, and somebody overselling a quarterback.
Enter Justin Herbert, a 6’6 quarterback from Oregon, who played ball at Oregon, and now finds himself in discussion of being selected as high as the No. 3 pick in tomorrow’s NFL Draft.
Some scouts and analysts always fall in love with the measurables- height, weight, arm strength, with mobility being a bonus. But we’ve seen this story before. Paxton Lynch, JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Blake Bortles, Akili Smith, EJ Manuel, Sam Bradford, Winston, Mariota, Gabbert, Weeden, and Josh Freeman for example- guys who had the height, big arms, or the body that was built to stand a pounding in the NFL.
All these guys either busted in the league, or had less than memorable careers.
Herbert in a lot of ways, fits that mold, and it’s a controversial topic that makes his draft status wholly uncertain come Thursday. Is he a top 5 pick? Top 10? 15? 20? 25? If anything is a certainty, he’s a first round pick.
If Josh Allen was picked by Buffalo as a Top 10 pick, then it serves to boost Herbert’s stock. Allen however, seemed a little more polished up as a thrower than Herbert. Forget the stats, especially in college with all the RPO offenses, look at the film.
Herbert doesn’t scream out “top 10 pick”, and truthfully, a guy like Jake Fromm and even seems to have more upside.
I’m not calling Herbert a bust, or saying he’s going to be a bad quarterback or anything, there’s just those immeasurables that often separate some QBs from others, that’s why a guy like Patrick Mahomes was drafted over the more polished and former National Champion, Deshaun Watson. Kansas City saw something in Mahomes, that “X-factor” that cannot be measured.
For Herbert, there’s no questions about his measurables, it’s about his immeasurables- his leadership, his accuracy, his footwork, and even his “x-factor” to a team. The thing that separates a star from a superstar.
At Oregon, Herbert had a stellar final two seasons, tossing 61 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions, tacked on six rushing touchdowns, and won the Rose Bowl. That’s good stuff, stuff that scouts look at.
I saw a couple of games and his open workout, and I think I had more questions than answers. I saw a couple of throws where Herbert was making inaccurate throws to uncontested receivers downfield. Yeah, he can throw a football 60-yards, but so could JaMarcus Russell and Kyle Boller. He’s big and mobile, but so was Blake Bortles. The question is, is he accurate? He is a leader? Can his play translate over to the NFL?
There’s enough questions in Herbert to warrant whether he’s a Top 10 pick. Not saying he’s going to bust, or he’s a bust or anything, but he’s not worth a Top 10 pick. Tua with his hip concerns is a better option right now than Herbert is.
There’s more questions than answers right now, the same questions that still face Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Herbert reminds of Allen in so many ways. He’ll be a first round pick, there’s no doubt, but I don’t believe he’s a Top 10 pick for a team looking to alter their franchise.