Justin Herbert 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Overview
Position
: Quarterback
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 237 pounds
School: Oregon Ducks

Combine Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds (tied for third-best among quarterbacks)
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches (tied for second-best among quarterbacks)
Broad jump: 10 feet, 3 inches (third-best among quarterbacks)
Three-cone drill: 7.06 seconds (best among quarterbacks)
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds (fourth among quarterbacks)

Justin Herbert 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Not every quarterback who finds his talents highly coveted by NFL teams at the end of his college career was heavily recruited out of high school. Justin Herbert certainly falls into this category. Despite an impressive high school career that saw him throw for 3,130 yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior, Herbert received just four scholarship offers, three of which came from FCS programs. The lone FBS program who offered him was Oregon where he would go on to become the team’s best quarterback since Marcus Mariota.

Herbert was thrust into the mix early on as he made seven starts as a true freshman. It was a challenging campaign as the Ducks went 4-8 which led to the dismissal of head coach Mark Helfrich just a few years removed from a national title game appearance. In came Willie Taggart who led Oregon to a 7-5 record before departing for Florida State. That lone season for Herbert under Taggart was marred by injury as he missed five games. But when he was healthy, he accounted for 20 touchdowns (15 passing, five rushing) and finished with a pass efficiency rating of 167.52 which ranked fourth in FBS.

Mario Cristobal took over as Ducks head coach after serving as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2017. And he played a part in Herbert’s development over the next two years. In fact, it was possible that Herbert was going to declare for the draft after his junior year. But he made the right decision in staying for his senior year. During that season, he threw just six interceptions which were tied for third-fewest among FBS quarterbacks who accounted for at least 30 touchdowns. It played a part in his Ducks winning the Pac-12 title and later defeating Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Strengths

  • boasts a quintessential pocket passer build;
  • quick and effortless release;
  • completes just about anything when he has time to throw;
  • arm strength is particularly noteworthy;
  • can make a wide variety of short, intermediate, and long-distance throws;
  • capable of making plays with his feet;
  • comfortable executing run-pass option plays;
  • a consistent contributor in college with 42 career starts under his belt;
  • won numerous academic awards and showcases high football I.Q.;
  • enhanced draft stock with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl.

Weaknesses

  • tends to force the issue into traffic;
  • struggles to deliver the ball accurately when on the run;
  • footwork becomes erratic under pressure;
  • downfield throws tend to sail over their intended target;
  • needs to scan the field and cycle through progressions more seamlessly;

NFL Comparison: Carson Wentz

Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans

Projection: Early first round

Bottom Line

A four-year starter, Justin Herbert went from lightly recruited quarterback to potential first-round pick over the course of his college career. He finished things off with quite the trifecta: a Pac-12 title, a Rose Bowl win, and taking home Senior Bowl MVP. While Joe Burrow is garnering a great deal of attention after his amazing season that culminated with a Heisman Trophy and a national title, Herbert is quietly emerging as a legit target for NFL teams in need of their next franchise quarterback. He exhibits an interesting combination of being able to get the ball out quickly as well as delivering it downfield with accuracy. While he needs to improve his footwork in the pocket and could struggle initially with NFL-level speed on the edge, there’s much to suggest that Herbert can develop into a regular starter at the next level.

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