Watching Justin Herbert on tape just screams “MISSED OPPORTUNITIES”! Despite the success he had at Oregon, for the talent he has, he frankly left a lot on the table.
Herbert is a dynamic runner with the football and some aspects of his ability to run the ball will definitely carry over to the NFL, but he is surely more Cam than Lamar with his 6’6” 238-pound frame. He also has a cannon for an arm, likely the biggest arm in this class but unfortunately for him, a big arm doesn’t translate to an accurate arm.
It all starts with footwork. Herbert’s footwork tends to be all over the place, hence his accuracy greatly suffers. Herbert often makes elementary mistakes and his feet are not even pointed in the same general direction as the target to which he is throwing, which is just concerning. This flaw was clearly evidenced in a number of games and was highlighted against ASU. He also struggles with putting touch on his throws and doesn’t have a great level of anticipation in his game. This can be attributed to indecision and the inability to trust his eyes, often leading to about 85 hitches before he finally decides to throw the ball, by when he’s most likely late and off the mark.
Now a simple explanation to all of his troubles could be a lack of experience but that doesn’t add up. As a 4 year starter for a major program, he still continues to make many of the same mistakes he made in past years. This raises a real red flag. Watching the Oregon offense in 2019, it predominantly consisted of running the ball, screens, and RPOs. It seemed as though the coaching staff tried to keep Herbert from having to drop back and read the field as much as possible. This presents a question, whether Oregon’s offensive play-calling kept Herbert from growing as a quarterback, or illustrates his inability to execute and therefore a lack of trust in him. The answer is probably a combination of both, either way, it doesn’t reflect well on Herbert.
The team that drafts Herbert needs to have a clear plan for him and needs to be all-in on him. When he puts it all together he can be an outstanding quarterback but he needs help and guidance to get him there. Most importantly the team that drafts him needs to do everything in their power to keep him from seeing the field until he is truly ready.
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