Injury History: Broken Left Collarbone (2018), Broken Femur: Required Surgery that included Screws Inserted (2014 while in High School)
Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Washington, Utah, Auburn, Cal
Report By: Alexander Amir
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 7.40
Herbert is one of the most athletic QBs in this class, which is particularly impressive given his stature. He has impressive mobility and is sneakily elusive in the open field, always making him a threat to pick up yardage on the ground. He also maintains balance both when scrambling and throwing on the run. His loose hips and shoulders help him open up his body when throwing on the run, and he can make throws from multiple arm angles. Herbert's athleticism also helps him sidestep and maneuver around and out of the pocket without compromising his mechanics. He's difficult to bring down on the first attempt.
PASSING SKILLS: 7.74
Quick Release/Mechanics: 7.70
Short Accuracy: 8.10
Intermediate Accuracy: 6.80
Deep Accuracy: 6.50
Big Play Ability: 8.20
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 6.90
Arm Strength: 8.60
It's a pleasure to watch Herbert throw the football. He stands tall in the pocket and releases the ball sharply and quickly with an extremely fluid delivery. There's excellent torque and connection between his shoulders and hips and he follows through on virtually every throw. The ball comes out of his hands with good zip and velocity on most throws. In his lower half, Herbert's footwork is outstanding. He's light and bouncy when standing in the pocket, and his feet maintain a wide base. His short accuracy is very reliable, as he consistently leads his receivers and hits them in stride. Herbert's mid-range game is a mixed bag – his strong arm helps him drive the ball into tight windows 15+ yards down the field. He also has a good feel for fitting the ball between the receiver and the sideline. However, his touch can improve when dropping the ball in over defenders. This issue carries over to the deep ball, as he has plenty of juice to get the ball downfield but needs to improve the trajectory. He either sacrifices velocity for trajectory, forcing the ball short, or airs it out too far. All of Herbert's tools give him the potential to create a big play, both with his arms and legs. In terms of decision making, Herbert is generally smart with the football but tends to force the ball into coverage when he's under pressure.
Poise In Pocket: 6.50
Consistency / Motor: 7.00
Improvisational Ability: 7.60
To an outside viewer, Herbert doesn't seem to exude competitiveness and leadership. However, all accounts say that he's an excellent teammate, he has a great personality and is very motivated and driven. On the field, when the pocket is clean, Herbert can sit there all day and find his guy. But when pressure comes, particularly in his line of sight, he tends to throw off his back foot or roll out rather than maneuver and stay in the pocket. He flees the pocket too early and is inconsistent throwing on the run, which isn't a good combination. He does have the traits to improvise and turn nothing into something. Herbert's strengths are pretty consistent, while his weaknesses under pressure vary by game.
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 6.40
Decision Making: 7.30
Herbert is extremely intelligent and has picked up three different offensive schemes from three different coaches. He also has aspirations to be a doctor and is known for his academics off the field. Unfortunately, it's difficult to see that on the field, as Herbert is rarely asked to move beyond his first couple of reads. It's a very scripted offense that doesn't require Herbert to survey the field or make pre-snap decisions. His instincts are solid, but he needs to speed up his internal clock as he holds the ball for too long when under pressure. When looking off defenders or pump faking, he does so a bit more methodically than instinctively.
From a pure talent standpoint, Herbert has nearly everything you want in a QB. His big arm is outstanding, his delivery is excellent, and his athletic ability is great. He can make throws to all areas of the field and flashes some impressive accuracy at times and is able to extend plays and pick up yardage with his legs. He's been touted as a great leader despite his seemingly quiet demeanor, and his intelligence, at least off the field, is top-notch.
Even if you put the blame on Oregon's system, Herbert's pro-readiness is questionable. He was rarely forced to go through his progressions or read the defense due to Oregon's quick-hit offense and has built up a habit of locking onto his first target. While you can't question his ability to escape pressure, Herbert tends to throw off of his back foot or flee the pocket too early and make an ill-advised throw rather than standing strong in the pocket. His general accuracy is good, but it gets erratic on the run and can get questionable on touch throws.
Oregon's star QB was set to be the #1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft but decided to return to school for his senior season in a stronger rookie QB class. That was a wise decision statistically, as he improved his numbers across the board. Most notably, his completion percentage was up by more than 7%. Still, questions remain about his vision, decision-making, and ability to play under pressure. Herbert has more than enough arm talent to play in the NFL and is intelligent enough to pick up the nuances of playing the position. It will be up to the team that drafts him to unlock his potential. Pro Comparison: Josh Allen. Team Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins. Prediction: Top 10.