Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has been a top prospect for some time now. Last year he was viewed as the consensus top QB, but he made the decision to return to Oregon for his senior season. Unfortunately for Herbert, he didn’t do a ton to improve his stock. Meanwhile, Louisiana State University’s Joe Burrow’s stock has soared while Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa improved his own as well. This means Herbert is now incredibly unlikely to be the first or even second passer selected. With all that being said, there will still be teams in love with the skill-set of Herbert. Where are his possible landing spots?
You can make the case that Herbert has the best physical make-up of any QB in this draft class. He possesses great size for the position at 6’6″ and nearly 240 pounds. He’s an excellent athlete in space, and his arm talent is otherworldly. His highs are the best in class. He shows flashes of brilliance and makes throws that not many NFL QBs can make. Due to that, I find it very unlikely Herbert falls out of the top half of the first down. Throws like this don’t make it past pick 16.
the play doesn’t stand, but that’s a big time throw by justin herbert. pic.twitter.com/sNhM84cZ2V
— josh houtz (@houtz) October 6, 2019
Could the play-calling at Oregon have hindered Herbert? Despite his elite arm talent, the offense was heavily centered around screen passes and quick throws. However, Herbert didn’t help with his lack of game to game consistency. None the less, in the right offensive scheme, Herbert could prove to be the steal of the draft. Now which teams are the perfect landing spots?
#3. Miami Dolphins
While Herbert is unlikely to be one of the first two passers selected, it is a possibility. With the injury concerns surrounding Tagovailoa, Miami might be tempted to take Herbert and make him the face of the franchise. He would have the weapons to push the ball vertically with the skill-set and speed of DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Head coach Brian Flores had put together some solid pieces. Could Herbert be the missing piece that turns this team into a real competitor?
#2. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have been one of the most disappointing teams in all the NFL this year. They were a team many, myself included, expected to contend for a Super Bowl. However, they’ve been plagued with up-and-down play from both Phillip Rivers and the offensive line. Actually, the entire team for that matter has been inconsistent. It’s probably time LA moves on from Rivers and drafts their guy for the future.
Rivers and Herbert are similar passers. They’re both willing to gamble, take a chance, and give their players a chance to make a play. However, one major difference lies in Rivers’ struggle to deal with pressure. Rivers has never been a strong athlete, and in his age 38 season, he’s not exactly in his athletic prime. Herbert is a plus athlete and could use his legs to create plays when the offensive line gives out. Herbert’s physical abilities might be exactly what the Chargers offense need.
#1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a dream fit. Jameis Winston isn’t the guy to lead the Bucs. Yes, he threw for 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also led the league in turnovers…again. By a wide margin. It’s time for Bruce Arians to find a new QB that isn’t a burden on the defense. Arians loves to push the ball down the field, and Herbert has the skill-set to do so.
This is a perfect scenario in my mind. Herbert gets a head coach that will not only let him, but encourage him to push the ball. Meanwhile, Arians gets a QB that can take care of the football better than Winston and will cost nearly 30 million dollars less.
Herbert to Tampa Bay is a best-case scenario for all parties. Whether your a Herbert fan, Bucs fan, or you just love football.