Justin Herbert: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Givanni Damico | November 25th, 2019 

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon #10

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 238 LBs

Class: Senior

Games watched: at Arizona State (2019), vs. Auburn (2019), vs. Cal (2019), vs. Washington (2019), vs. Colorado (2019)

Everybody is in love with the measurables of Justin Herbert and how well he projects at the quarterback position, but how high is his ceiling? For the longest time, I had Herbert as my QB1 (Burrow now). Now I have to decide if Herbert is QB2 right behind Joe Burrow, or if he’s fallen further down my board.

I grade on a 100-point scale being distributed 10 ways with 11 different criteria (for quarterbacks). For quarterbacks, these criteria include: Frame (/5), Short-Mid Accuracy, Deep Accuracy, Touch, Pocket Presence, Decision Making, Arm Strength (/5), Ball Placement, Timing, Football IQ, Mechanics

Make sure to check out all of our other scouting reports here.

Frame5/5 Herbert is your ideal quarterback. He’s tall and strong with the ability to move.
Short-Mid Accuracy9/10 Quick passes are Herbert’s game. Oregon runs tons of screen plays and quick slants across the field which benefit Herbert’s completion percentage. This is why you can’t just look at someone’s completion percentage to judge their accuracy. 75% of Herbert’s throws are on these quick routes. He does pretty well getting them the ball accurately, as he should, but he tends to throw behind his target and make them work more than they should for an easy play. He needs to do a better job leading his receivers. Herbert is pretty consistent with his mid-range accuracy, showing his ability to fit the football into tight windows.
Deep Accuracy7/10 Herbert misses way too many open guys deep because he overthrows them. He’s got a ballistic missile for an arm, but he tends to overshoot his receivers. We saw this on the last play of the game against Auburn when he was throwing a hail mary and threw it out of the endzone. He has to be able to give his receivers a chance to make a play, even if his ball isn’t right on the money.
Touch 7.5/10 This is what I was talking about above. Herbert needs to take a little bit off his passes to avoid overshooting everybody. He has good touch on intermediate routes, but he needs this to be true of his deep balls as well. He reminds me of Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. He has the arm talent, but he just misses these deep balls because he underestimates how strong his arm really is.
Pocket Presence8.5/10 Herbert has the most experienced offensive line in the country, but they have trouble holding up at times (like most lines). He was pressured a lot against Auburn, but he showed his ability to step up and run the football when he needs to. He is mobile outside of the pocket and does a decent enough job throwing on the run, but he could use improvement on his placement when on the run. Sometimes, he sits in the pocket for too long and tries to do too much which results in sacks. This is another quality of his that is very reminiscent of Josh Allen.
Decision Making8.5/10 Aside from his poor showing against Arizona State, Herbert does a good job choosing his target wisely. He rarely forces passes, and when he does, it’s because he thinks that he can fit the ball into a window that he just can’t fit it in. He did this against Cal when he was just a smidge late on making the decision to throw the ball, so the safety was able to make a play. I believe people are overreacting to his poor showing against Arizona State in Tempe. He was trying to make big plays to get his team back in the game which ultimately failed him in the end. I don’t fault him completely for this. He’s a proven winner and was fighting for a potential spot in the CFB Playoff, so he wasn’t going to simply play it safe. I saw a ridiculous headline from Fansided which said that Herbert’s performance against the Sun Devils was going to “cost him millions of dollars” as if one bad game is going to cause him to drop out of the first round or something. I still believe in his game.
Arm Strength5/5 Herbert has an absolute cannon. Enough said.
Ball Placement 7.5/10 Even on screen passes and slants, Herbert makes the ball harder to reel in than it should be. He throws it behind his receiver or too far ahead of them. Although a lot of these passes are still completed, his throws negate more yardage from being gained because the receivers are diving to make these plays or shifting their weight to their back foot, catching the ball, and then are unable to accelerate before a tackler reaches them. Herbert absolutely needs to do a better job in this department and put the football on the numbers.
Timing8/10 As I said earlier, Herbert doesn’t always lead his receivers. He throws it to where they are which forces them to slow momentum and contort their body to make a difficult catch. This isn’t always the case though. Herbert has improved since last year with his timing. He hit Johnny Johnson on a few nice passes where he put it right in the breadbasket where Johnson could keep running after the catch. I need to see more of this from him.
Football IQ9/10 Herbert is a very intelligent leader who is very aware of what’s happening around him. He notices when the pocket is collapsing and he needs to move outside of it, and he knows when to take a sack or throw the ball away rather than forcing a pass that would likely turn into an interception (other than against Arizona State). 
Mechanics9.5/10 Herbert has an incredibly impressive throwing motion and does a great job stepping through his throw. His mechanics, along with his measurables, are what make him such a highly-touted prospect.
Overall84.5/100 Justin Herbert has the intangibles to be a very successful NFL quarterback. He’s a big guy with crazy arm talent, refined mechanics, and the ability to run. He makes big plays happen when he needs to, but his ball placement and anticipation lack consistency. He makes easy passes look difficult at times. His touch on deep balls is very rough and needs improvement. Overall, the talent is there for Herbert. He just needs to be more consistent and lead his receivers more.
Round Grade: Mid-First RoundProjected Draft Position: Early-Mid First Round

Pro Comparison: Josh Allen


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