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Projections for Justin Herbert

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Projections for Justin Herbert
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks runs the ball against Reggie Pearson #2 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the first quarter in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Pasadena, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

Justin Herbert had an opportunity to potentially be a first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft but he opted to return to the Oregon Ducks for his senior season. What’s next for him?

Herbert is an Intriguing NFL Draft Prospect

Herbert has physical traits. At 6′ 6″ and 234 pounds, his frame makes him a weapon because he can gain extra yards by shaking off smaller defenders when needed. Also, being so tall allows him to see the field better and make easier throws.

Herbert’s burst of speed is nice for a man of his size. He forces defensive coordinators to plan against this. He can also keep defenders off balance and open up the opportunity for big plays down the field.

The 21-year-old has a rocket arm and his ability to make deep passes can limit the type of zone defenses that his opponents will run against him.

Herbert’s College Career Comes to an End

You could easily see that Justin Herbert loves Oregon and that was a factor that led to him having a great season for them. He is a hometown hero. Born and raised a Ducks fan in Oregon, he was grateful for his opportunity to play football there.

What he said when he announced that he was returning for his senior season evidences this:

“The University of Oregon has been a special place for me as long as I can remember, words will never be able to express my feelings of gratitude toward the people that have built and maintain our program.”

The signal-caller closed out his career with a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl win. He threw for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games. Herbert completed 66.8 percent of his passes. This is 7.4 percent up more than in 2018 (59.4 percent).

“I wish it wasn’t over,” Herbert said after leading Oregon to a 28-27 win against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. “This has been the best four years of my life. I’ve been honored to be a part of this team.”

Herbert Mock Draft and Projections

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller thinks that Herbert could go as early as No. 5 to the Dolphins.

“Mock drafts aren’t what I would do, and that’s important to note because this is definitely not who I would tab to be the next quarterback of the Miami Dolphins…

Justin Herbert will wow someone with his traits, of which there are many. He’s tall, athletic and has a big right arm. But he’s raw with footwork that will drive you crazy and passes that can sail wildly when he’s not mechanically sound. Head coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier could see Herbert’s potential and believe they can develop it after losing what would have been a seamless fit in Tua Tagovailoa to injury.”

Miller has a point. Tagovailoa’s health could impact Herbert’s draft stock. Many draft analysts still have Tua Tagovailoa as the second-best quarterback after Joe Burrow. Tagovailoa will announce if he will enter the NFL Draft soon. He is still recovering from a dislocated hip injury and is hard to tell how NFL teams will view his draft stock.