The Los Angeles Chargers have selected Oregon’s Justin Herbert with the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’ll get a chance to compete with Tyrod Taylor for the starting quarterback spot following the departure of Philip Rivers.
Last season Herbert completed 286-of-428 passes for a 66.8 percent completion rate, 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns, six interceptions. Herbert was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 2019 and led his team to the Rose Bowl versus Wisconsin, where he rushed for three touchdowns to give Oregon a 28-27 victory.
Herbert has all the physical tools to be an NFL quarterback. His arm strength pops and he is a strong runner and accurate thrower when forced from the pocket. His improved play from 2018 to 2019 is a good sign that he can continue to develop in the NFL, where he’ll need to work on going through his progressions while keeping his feet settled under pressure.
Fantasy football impact
Herbert is inheriting one of the best situations a young signal caller could ask for. He has quality pass catchers in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry. He also has a top-notch running back in Austin Ekeler, who recorded 993 receiving yards and caught eight touchdown passes last season. He has a good chance to be the top fantasy performer of all the rookie quarterbacks with this supporting cast.
Herbert has the stuff to be a top-tier fantasy quarterback in this league, but also has a few red flags that could hold him back. He’ll need to work on getting off his first read and keeping his feet set under pressure, which are problems that have plagued quarterbacks since the invention of the forward pass. But, his accuracy, athleticism and arm strength make up for a lot of flaws, giving him a high fantasy ceiling longterm.