The Senior Bowl is officially a wrap and the road to the 2020 NFL Draft continues chugging along. The postseason all star games closed with the Senior Bowl, and the next big moment will be the NFL Combine in late February. Prospects will spend the next month preparing for the Combine, while teams will decide who they want to formally interview, and what they want to get out of the workouts.
One player who comes out of the Senior Bowl with a lot of momentum is Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. The early part of the draft process has focused on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but Herbert had a big performance at the Senior Bowl that will at least get people thinking a little harder about him.
Herbert has all the measurables, standing 6’6, 227 pounds, and having the kind of big arm that makes scouts drool. He was named Senior Bowl practice player of the week and also game MVP. However, his film raises plenty of questions as noted by NFL Media’s Chase Goodbread.
Oregon QB Justin Herbert’s arm proved to be as advertised throughout the Senior Bowl practice week, and it appears he’ll depart Mobile just as he came in terms of status — arguably the top draft prospect at the event. But while his size (6-foot-6 1/8, 227 pounds) and arm talent are exactly what clubs look for, some concerns that scouts see from Herbert’s tape remain. Among those concerns are instincts and pocket awareness, something scouts can’t truly evaluate in an all-star setting where quarterbacks are tagged, not tackled, in practice. For that, game tape is invaluable, but Herbert will give scouts another look against a live-tackle pass rush in Saturday’s game.
The question now is how much teams will be looking to project improvement for Herbert. One pre-Senior Bowl mock draft at CBS Sports did not even have him going in the first round. They had Burrow No. 1 to the Bengals, Tagovailoa No. 5 to the Dolphins, Washington’s Jacob Eason No. 12 to the Raiders, and Utah State’s Jordan Love No. 13 to the Colts.
Eason is the biggest surprise there, but the importance of the QB position is bound to get several players moving up higher than people might otherwise expect. This mock will likely prove to be an outlier as we move along in the process. The writer claims he did not see a team fit for Herbert, but a QB with Herbert’s measurables and pedigree is going to be a first round pick as long as he remains healthy. The question for now is how high he’ll go.