Trusts his protection, makes a subtle move to reset his feet
and does not bail at the first sign of pressure (0:00, 0:52.
the willingness to stand in against the rush and deliver a downfield
strike. (3:26, 4:14,
Executes the play-action fake well and often takes advantage
with a deep shot. (0:15,
Very capable of making a play with his feet as a runner and
punishing defenses for undisciplined rushes as a scrambler.
Did not miss a start in his final two seasons and was the
most recent winner of the Campbell Trophy (a.k.a. the Academic
Prototypical size and stature with a frame capable of adding
a bit more muscle without sacrificing much (if any) of his athleticism.
Deep ball accuracy is a bit hit-or-miss (Good: 0:47, 1:44,
a product of not putting enough air under the ball.
Will aim his short throws on an infrequent basis, leading
to missed connections on what should be gimmes in the flat or
near line of scrimmage. (0:29, 1:03,
Seems to be dogged by leadership questions, although such
criticism is often subjective based on many factors (including
how often/when scouts attend practice/games).
Footwork out of shotgun mostly on point, but he did not take
a single snap from under center during his college career.
The narrative on Herbert since it became clear he was destined
to be a first-round pick has been that he's a prospect with a
lot of physical tools but too much of an introvert to be the commanding
presence NFL teams expect from the quarterback position (presumably
because he's not a rah-rah, in-your-face guy). Leadership is a
tricky thing for scouts to quantify though, as there is still
a very strong belief among the old guard of scouts and evaluators
that one must be loud and visible to be "in charge."
What seems clear in viewing his 2019 film (and some of his 2018
games) is that he certainly had the respect of his teammates.
His "questionable" leadership ability almost rallied
Oregon in a loss against Arizona State late in the season in a
game the Ducks had no business being competitive in and powered
his team to wins over defensive juggernauts in Utah and Wisconsin
to wrap up his college career.
Setting aside the leadership "issue" for the moment,
Herbert's biggest knocks may be some inconsistency with his accuracy
and Oregon's reluctance to use him more often as a runner - although
coach Mario Cristobal is on record as saying the Ducks weren't
overly confident about the readiness of their backup quarterback.
There's also plenty of evidence Herbert can make tight-window
throw after tight-window throw, but there's not a lot of film
that clearly shows making anticipation throws (outside of back-shoulder
passes). I tend to believe that is more of a function of Oregon's
scheme than the Ducks' coaching staff trying to hide a weakness.
Nevertheless, it is a question that needs to be answered.
Thankfully, Oregon used more traditional NFL concepts in its
offense than a lot of college teams, so projecting Herbert to
the next level is a less arduous task than it is with many other
quarterback prospects. While he is more comfortable in the pocket
than anywhere else, he loses very little accuracy on the move.
He understands how to manipulate linebackers and safeties. He
makes the throw to the opposite hash - the throw that scouts often
use as a test of arm strength - look routine. Herbert agonizingly
and inexplicably threw into traffic on several occasions where
he should have known better, but it's hardly a fatal flaw and
something that he can get coached up on at the next level. Assuming
teams get past the question about his leadership ability - and
they most likely will sooner than later - Herbert has the goods
to enjoy Wentz-like success (hopefully, without the injuries)
in the NFL.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.