In 2016, Justin Herbert became the first true freshman to start a game at Oregon since 1983, and the Herbert hype-train started rolling. However, he never quite lived up to the hype that was placed on him by Oregon fans. Don’t get me wrong, he did not have a bad career by any stretch. He passed for over 10,000 yards, had 108 total touchdowns, and went 21-6 in his two full seasons as a starter. Herbert also won the 2020 Rose Bowl and offensive MVP in that game. But none of that is a College Football Playoff appearance or a Heisman, which is what the fans in Eugene, Oregon, were expecting when Herbert came back for his Senior season.
These expectations might have been a little lofty, and honestly unfounded, but they were there nonetheless. Herbert showed flashes of brilliance throughout his college career, but he was just never consistent enough to garner #1 overall pick grades. There were times where Herbert showed off his rocket arm and fit perfect throws into tight windows, but then there were others where he looked like a robot throwing flat throws and not going through his progressions.
He’s a pro-style player that is going to leave his life in Eugene (where he played both in high school and college) for the pros. But is he ready for it? And will his inconsistencies in college give way to a great NFL career? That is going to be the big question for a lot of teams.
Herbert is expected to be drafted in the top 10 and maybe even in the top 5. There are rumors that the Bengals are interested in trading back with the Dolphins to take him at #5, while other rumors have him slipping all the way down to the Colts at #13. Herbert probably could use a year or two behind a veteran quarterback to adjust to the NFL, but that is not how the league works these days. He either has to be ready to perform right away or he might be end up as a career backup. Herbert is the definition of a “boom or bust” prospect.
Arms: 32 7/8″
40-Yard Time: 4.68 seconds
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Chargers, Bengals, Colts