Justin Herbert opted to remain with the Oregon Ducks for the 2019 season, turning down the opportunity to enter the NFL Draft. Herbert has impressed for the Ducks once again, guiding the team steadily up the NCAA rankings.
It’s unlikely to lift them into the playoffs due to the quality of teams in the SEC along with the Clemson Tigers in the ACC. However, Herbert’s performances will have done a great deal to catch the eye of NFL teams in need of a quarterback in the 2020 Draft.
The 21-year-old may have been selected in the top five of the selection process last year, but the performances of quarterbacks around him may push him down the pecking order. His odds for the Heisman Trophy reflect the competition with Herbert backed at +8000 with Space Casino, highlighting the task ahead of him to convince voters of his talents. But the well-rounded nature of his game may endear Herbert to NFL teams, especially the ones selecting in the top 10.
Tua Tagovailoa was installed as the top quarterback in the college game before the start of the season, and he has enhanced his reputation, although a serious injury has ended his season. Joe Burrow’s rise to prominence has seen him become the favorite, but there is still time left in the campaign for other quarterbacks such as Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts to make a convincing case.
The Cincinnati Bengals are on a path towards the number one selection in the 2020 Draft. They’re winless at the time of writing and are in need of a rebuild under head coach Zac Taylor. Tua or Burrow will likely be heading into the AFC North, which might not be a bad thing for Herbert amid the talent of the Baltimore Ravens at the top of the division.
The Miami Dolphins have moved down the order after winning two games. They’re going to select a quarterback with their selection as there is no way they can move forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen as their options. Whoever does not go first overall to the Bengals will likely be heading to Miami to play under Brian Flores’ improving unit.
Then as things currently stand in the NFL there are not many teams in need of a quarterback yet. The Atlanta Falcons have Matt Ryan, although a rebuild in Georgia could see him move elsewhere, while the Denver Broncos invested in Drew Lock in the second round in 2019 and will still have Joe Flacco under contract. Herbert and the rest of the quarterbacks could slide towards the mid-teens where teams are in better shape than their rivals at the top of the board.
Down The Board
Fate could take Herbert towards the Tennessee Titans where a former Oregon quarterback’s – Marcus Mariota – time looks to be over in the Music City. There are parallels between the two players with questions marks still hanging over the head of Herbert, despite impressive statistics. John Robinson would face an interesting call to make the move and tempt fate on another Ducks signal-caller.
The Carolina Panthers are also in the market, if reports are true that they are parting ways with Cam Newton. Kyle Allen has shown a lot of positive signs in the early stages of his NFL career, but competition from a first-round pick would always be welcome.
Beyond that are teams looking to replace their aging stars. The Los Angeles Chargers could move on from Philip Rivers, but even after this season that would be a surprise move. Drew Brees suffered his first serious injury in 13 years in New Orleans. Playing behind the Saints legend for a season and under Sean Payton would be a dream for any quarterback. Although Herbert would have been dreaming of being the first name called perhaps dropping down the order may be a blessing in disguise.