As well all know Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and every offseason we are looking to find the next elite guy. After Oregon went the grad transfer route twice to replace Marcus Mariota, but when Justin Herbert took over shortly into his freshman year the Ducks finally get their guy and the NFL Draft Community immediately fell in love.
Who is Justin Herbert?
At 6’6 225lbs Herbert has the size and when you add in his athletic traits and arm talent it’s not secret why his potential and buzz is so high. Entering his sophomore year as the full time starter we heard all about how well he’s picked up their system and it showed as he threw for 248 yards per game and 5:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
But let’s look past his stats and get into the traits that he possesses and see what that tells us. We know that Herbert has a strong arm and can get the ball on short to intermediate throws to get the ball through tight windows while also being able to drive the ball downfield. However arm strength is nice, but if you cannot throw accurately it doesn’t matter.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 4, 2018
Despite having a career 65.3% completion percentage over 16 games that doesn’t tell you the full story. Herbert’s accuracy is inconsistent at times. While he shows the ability to drive the ball to receivers on short outs and hook routes and will hit receivers downfield he can struggle to that on a regular basis and will over throw or under throw the deep ball a little too often while also putting the ball too far inside or off the mark allowing defenders to be able to break up passes.
Who Does Justin Herbert Compare to?
Because Herbert plays for Oregon, can make plays with his feet and has a strong arm he naturally gets some comparisons to Marcus Mariota. However when you watch him much closer to me he reminds me a lot more of Josh Allen from Wyoming who was just drafted 7th overall to the Buffalo Bills.
Much like Allen, Herbert has the size, athletic traits and a cannon for an arm (not as strong as Allen’s). Another trait both players shared was that they were both see throwers. Meaning that had to see the receiver come open before they made the throw, which is a trait most strong armed quarterbacks tend to have maybe because they trust their velocity. Allen’s biggest knock was his accuracy and only completed 56% of his passes. And while Herbert completion percentage is 10% higher he has a lot of the same incompletions throwing off the mark, but because he tends to throw more short passes and has more touch on shorter throws that helps his number.
Now much like Allen, Herbert is still a work in progress, has a high ceiling and will have NFL teams loving his traits. But what makes Herbert different than Josh Allen is Herbert has a higher floor. Because he can show more touch and has shown to have big games against good competition he is more proven. Herbert also has another year or two to show that he can improve his lower body mechanics and show more consistency. With that, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a future number one overall pick or at least a top ten pick.