Draft Guide Sample Report, Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert 6’6”1⁄4 236 Oregon
Justin Herbert capped off his college career as he probably envisioned he would when he made the decision to return to Eugene for his Senior year. In 2019, Herbert had his best season statistically (3,471 yards 32 TD’s 6 INT’s) through the air as he led Oregon to a Rose Bowl victory. Herbert essentially comes into the NFL as a four year starter and his career stat line playing in a pistol spread attack went (10,541 passing yards – 95 touchdowns – 23 interceptions – 64%) Herbert is the most intelligent quarterback (and player for that matter) entering the draft from a general mental processing & academic accomplishment perspective. He graduated from Oregon with a Biology degree and finished his coursework with a 4.01 GPA.
Trait Grades (Herbert)
Arm Talent (A-) Toughness (A) Anticipation (B+)
Arm Strength (A) Pocket Presence (B+) Football IQ (A-)
Ball Placement (B) Delivery/Mechanics (A-) Intangibles/Off Field (A-)
Touch (B) Running/Athleticism (A) Throw on Run (A-)
Tape Analysis (Herbert)
Herbert plays with great control from within the pocket & is comfortable surveying late into this down trusting his arm & ability to make tight window throws. Herbert has an absolute hose of arm but he doesn’t get enough credit for his ability to throw with touch, particularly deep. However, this part of his game is erratic
& he is unable to rely on throwing with touch consistently, it appears in spades. (deep corner & fade) There are countless examples throughout his tape of him placing the ball with pin-point precision down the field against tight coverage. Very athletic & brings great size to the position. He played in an offense at Oregon that does not fully project (conceptually) to the NFL, however his ability to operate under center & master the footwork element required of a pro-style system was on display during Senior Bowl week. Herbert’s feet looked quick, efficient & smooth from the beginning of the week all the way through the game. In this regard he is similar to Josh Allen (2018) in terms of the naturally quick & fluid feet he is able to exhibit despite both being 6’5” plus. Again, the offense at Oregon did not fully allow him to display this element of his game. Essentially, Herbert would have no issue adjusting to a pro-style drop back & play-action game.
When Herbert moves out of the pocket either by design or off-script he shows great ability to shorten his stride & quickly is able to get his body in a position to deliver the football on time. This cannot be understated enough because when doing so he still shows great accuracy & everything looks natural for him on the move which speaks to his great overall footwork. The ball
comes out quick with steam for him on the move as well. As an executor of the play-action game, Herbert is both capable & comfortable. At Oregon many of their down-field passing concepts incorporated elements of fly sweep or pistol action fakes & as stated earlier to earlier he has no issue with drop-back play action as he shows the ability to sell run hard with his back turned to the defense from under center and then quickly get his head turned around afterwards while setting up at the launch point.
Oregon’s offense featured many quick hitting bubble screens & option routes that saw Herbert quickly spray the ball to stationary targets. Herbert struggled the most with intermediate throws from the pocket where he due to the coverage he needed to level the ball over defenders & improvement in this area will be vital. I do believe that playing in an NFL system will only help Herbert develop faster in this regard by implementing quarterback friendly spacing & action through high level play design. He has already shown he has the arm & feet to make these throws, he will however need to throw with better anticipation at times on these types of throws.
Anticipation is an area of growth for him moving forward. He is not weak in this regard but he needs to really over focus on throwing with better anticipation once he arrives to his new team with the hope it becomes more habitual during live action.
A dangerous rusher of the football. Is not afraid of contact & possesses both high level agility, instincts as well as straight line speed. He also seems to take off as a last resort off-script or when identifying (quickly) through play design/flow of defense where green grass to run will be. When Herbert decides to run, he does so in short order & takes off to green grass.
Herbert has the ability to make any throw on the field. There was a play against Washington from 2019 where he fit a seam ball between the both the field safety & the undercoverage trailer defender that demonstrated his ability to stand firm in the pocket against a free blitzer (look down the gun-barrel) & deliver with velocity, accuracy & a quick release. This is a trait that will serve to his benefit at the next level. Despite Herbert being 6’6” he is not a long strider. He has a rare ability to get the ball off quickly in the face of incoming pressure. He can operate well working within the proverbial phone booth.
On the surface, evaluating Herbert can be frustrating at times. There are macro-level variables that can blur the true evaluation of the player. Some of those variables are the offensive system at Oregon, the emergence of Joe Burrow as a one year phenom, the physical & mental traits of Herbert that at times become hidden or downplayed. Simply put, you really need to roll back the layers of Herbert’s game & closely evaluate the player & person. After doing this it has become apparent to me he deserves serious consideration to be the first quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. We believe Herbert is going to be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals at the #1 spot. If the Bengals do go with the national media consensus and take Joe Burrow, he will be selected by the
Dolphins at four unless a team like Jacksonville trades up to select him at 2 or 3. We believe Herbert has a chance to become a great player at the next level because of his physical traits, mental makeup & maturity. When we look back at this draft class in five years, Herbert will be viewed as the best quarterback from this class.
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