QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

6’6” – 237 lbs.

Also played basketball and baseball in high school. Became the first true freshman to start at quarterback in over thirty years, taking over the starting role from the sixth game of that year, passing for 1,936 (63.5%), 19 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Switched from the “blur” offense installed by Chip Kelly to Willie Taggart’s “gulf coast” offense, starting another eight games (missed time due to a broken collarbone) and threw for 1,983 yards (67.5%), 15 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Put together two full starting seasons to conclude his career and threw for 3,151 yards (59.4%), 29 touchdowns, and eight interceptions as a junior and 3,471 yards (66.8%), 32 touchdowns, and six interceptions as a senior. Won the William V. Campbell Trophy (“academic Heisman”) this past year. Has excellent size and bulk for a pro quarterback, although he has some medical flags which will need to be examined. Offense was a spread/RPO-based system built around a quick tempo and simple verbiage/playcalling, so will have to make an adjustment to more complex pro offenses. Was able to make a lot of quick, high-percentage throws on screens and other short patterns out of spread formations with favorable spacing, but does attempt some more pro-style throws downfield and toward the sidelines as well. Made some three- and five-step drops out of the shotgun, but was often just catching and throwing without a dropback, so that will be another adjustment. Executed the offense efficiently in terms of making good decisions on options, scanning the field, and getting the ball out quickly; comfortable rhythm-based passer who plays with composure. Has a pretty high release point and throws a very catchable ball with a tight spiral. Would like to see him throw with more of a sense of urgency on some screens and shorter passes; can be a little bit too deliberate. Flashes the ability to step into throws and get some juice on the ball, but is a more touch-based passer than a flamethrower. Can sail some passes on more pro-style throws down the field and toward the boundaries at times, but also demonstrates the anticipation and accuracy to hit receivers in stride on more difficult throws, particular down the seams. Looks coordinated and athletic, particularly for his size; prefers to stand in the pocket and make rhythm-based throws in the passing game, but flashes the ability to complete passes when rolling out in either direction, squaring his shoulders if not always reestablishing his base. A graceful, intelligent, composed, and accurate passer with three years of starting experience, he was getting hype as a potential number-one pick last year and heading into this season, but seems to have slipped behind some of the other prospects in this year’s class and will have to make a bigger adjustment at the pro level than some of the other quarterbacks available.

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