LAXSportsNation

Author’s Note: My name is Josh and you may have read a few of my articles from the 2019 season. I am excited to be back to writing for LAXSportsNation.

I am looking forward to writing articles for you guys to enjoy and I’m starting with a 6-Part Draft Breakdown.

I will also be doing a roster breakdown of each position group on the Chargers, which should help predict the final roster and starters come Week One against the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow. 


Year after year Tom Telesco has given the Chargers fans something to look forward too in late April. He consistently drafts quality players and he outdid himself again this year.

This was an especially different draft season for every team and the draft prospects. The NFL Combine happened in February, but soon after in early March the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States, causing a cascading effect on the sporting world and every American’s life in some way. The first thing was that all scheduled Pro Days after early March were canceled, which meant teams would not get the additional looks at draft prospects. This entire year has been full of unpredicted issues, but there is one thing that can bring people together in these tough times: Sports.

While we haven’t had many sports to watch, we have still had several of the drafts, which gave people a taste of sports. The NFL draft this year had its highest viewership ever, Sports Video Group put out an article that said the viewership shattered records set in 2019 and the First Round alone has over 15 million viewers.


I am very excited about this draft class that Tom Telesco has put together, so lets jump in.


Photo: AP Photo / Elaine Thompson

1st Round// Justin Herbert, QB (University of Oregon)

  • Physicals: Height 6′ 6” 241 Pounds
  • 40 Yard Dash- 4.68 Seconds

Introduction

For the first time since 2006, the Chargers were looking for their franchise QB, while Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick are still on the roster, they lack the ceiling of a star QB. Tom Telesco has been looking at QB Classes for the last couple of years to groom a replacement for Phillip Rivers when he leaves. The last time the Chargers spend a 4th round pick or higher on a Quarterback was 2006 when they drafted Charlie “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst in the 3rd round.

This draft was turning a leaf for the Chargers franchise and Tom Telesco selected Justin Herbert from the University of Oregon with the 6th pick in the draft. Justin was considered the top QB in the class last year but decided to come back for his senior season. It hurt his draft stock a little bit, but he still led the Ducks to a Rose Bowl victory and performed very well at the Senior Bowl, winning MVP.

He was widely considered the third-best QB in this draft class and was even considered by some, the second-best QB prospect due to the hip injury of Tua Tagovailoa. At the end of the day, Tua went the pick before to the Miami Dolphins, and the Chargers drafted their guy at 6.


Negatives

One of the biggest takeaways from watching the film on Herbert and listening to how Tom Telesco and Anthony Lynn have talked about Justin Hebert is that he will need some work and is not ready to start right away.

Tom’s exact words when talking to Justin “We want to grow with you”, which my takeaway is that they know he’s going to need some time to learn and they have Tyrod Taylor in place as the starter this year.

One of the biggest knocks on Herbert is that he struggles to make good reads. Part of this comes from him being very intelligent, but that causes him to overanalyze the play and look for the absolute perfect read. I think with more game time and working with Pep Hamilton he can adapt to let the game come to him and just let it flow.

One of the other things that scouts disliked about Herbert was his leadership ability. Herbert is generally a very quiet, humble individual and he wasn’t always viewed as a natural-born leader. This doesn’t take away from his ability to lead by example and his competitive nature, it’s just not the natural personality that scouts look for from NFL QBs. I look forward to seeing how he commands the locker room, he has some big shoes to fill with the departure of Rivers.


Positives

I am very excited about what Herbert can bring the Chargers, it gives Shane and Anthony a lot of new options for the offense. Herbert is a mobile QB, opposed to Rivers who was exclusively a pocket passer.

I think that this should help the offensive line out more since he can scramble out of trouble and maybe we utilize more read-option type plays. It adds a new dynamic layer to the offense, that will create a challenge for defenses. Herbert is the perfect QB prototype build, standing at 6′ 6” and 241 pounds, his size is what scouts drool over when looking for QBs. It’s surprising to think that Herbert has that large of a frame and can still run a 4.68 40-time.

Watching the film on him he looks like he has even better “game speed”, just watching him in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, where he ran for 3 TDs. He’s such a great runner and it’s hard to not get excited watching these Herbert Highlights. I suggest that you go give his highlight video a watch.


Rose Bowl Justin Herbert Highlights

https://youtu.be/swrbnawt0Fk


Future Outlook

My outlook on Justin Herbert is that he is going to need some time to develop. I think that Pep Hamilton will play a big factor, he was the QB Coach that worked with Andrew Luck in his rookie year. There will be Chargers fans that want to rush Herbert to start for the Chargers, but I don’t think that would be a good idea. Rushing Herbert could stunt his development and we may not see the full potential of him if they rush him into the starting role.

Having your QB sit his first season has historically played out very well, looking at Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes who both sat for a season before they were trusted into the starting role.

In a perfect world, Tyrod Taylor does fantastic as a bridge QB this year and can lead the Chargers to the playoffs. There is a chance that he might stumble, or Herbert develops faster than expected, and the Chargers coaching staff feels that he’s ready to start, he could start this season. I would predict that we don’t see Herbert until at least Week 10 or Week 11, but it depends where the Chargers are in the standings.


As much as I would like them to be patient with Herbert, they need to play well this year, because the Chargers Free Agency issues next off-season will probably cause the Chargers to lose a couple of key players from this years team.

Featured Image: Chargers Swap/Instagram
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