Taking a look at the traits of 2020 NFL Draft prospect, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
Justin Herbert was expected to be a top tier quarterback in the 2019 draft cycle, but he ended up returning to Eugene to play his senior year at Oregon. Now, Herbert is a premier quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft class.
A lifelong Ducks fan, Herbert was determined to return and deliver a big season, and he did. They might’ve missed out on the playoff, but the Ducks finished with a 12-2 record, and as Pac-12 and Rose Bowl Champions. Herbert might not be the perfect 2020 NFL draft prospect, but after watching his film, I’ve concluded that he is still worth a top pick. This is my scouting report on Justin Herbert.
Weight: 235 pounds
Career Stats (44 Games): 64% completion percentage, 10,541 yards, 95 Touchdowns, 23 Interceptions
2019 Stats: 66.8% Completion Percentage, 3,471 yards, 32 Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions
Statistically, Herbert had his best season as a senior, but as the draft process proves, stats don’t mean everything.
Games Watched: 2018- Stanford, Washington; 2019: Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, Auburn
Accuracy and Ball Placement: Natural arm talent. Once he gets in a rhythm, he can make any throw on the field. Not pinpoint accuracy but throws balls that his receivers can have a chance on every play. Will sometimes miss throws once forced to move around. Has nice touch accuracy on throws. Can drop a ball in a bucket. He has shown the ability to throw pinpoint accurate balls, but he is more consistently a general accuracy thrower.
Decisions & Progressions: Generally, a good decision-maker. Some deficiencies were masked by the offensive system at Oregon this last year. A few times a game he makes a decision that leaves you scratching your head but there are more positives than negatives.
Herbert understands coverages and reads the field well generally. Quick throws and screens at Oregon were run in abundance this last year and that makes reads easy for Herbert. It might take a bit of development to fine-tune his decisions. Progressions are below average. Never tasked with many reads beyond his first or second.
Arm Strength: Ball launches out of his hand and he can push the ball with velocity to any spot of the field. He can also fit the ball in any window. When Herbert has a receiver open, he’ll launch the ball with no issue. He knows when to throw a touch ball, too. He knows when to tone down the velocity on his throws and knows which throws need more touch than heat. One of, if not, the best arms in the class.
Pocket Awareness & Poise: Could use development in this area. He has great athleticism that would allow him to easily maneuver away from pressure. He flashes the ability to know where pressure is coming from, but it is an inconsistent trait. Currently, he isn’t the best when forced off-script; he has the traits to become efficient off-script, however.
Film Grade: Second Round Evaluation
Justin Herbert isn’t a finished project, but he isn’t far from being one. Even though I have a second-round grade on Herbert, I fully expect him to be picked in the first round. He has the arm strength, accuracy and athleticism you like to see in a quarterback, but the other things like decision making, progressions and pocket awareness need to be improved.
He projects as a starting quarterback at the next level, but he needs to be in the right situation. If he is playing for a team with a weak offensive line, he might struggle. If he is put into a system that doesn’t help develop his progression inconsistencies and his decision-making deficiencies, it could spell disaster.