In his years at Oregon, Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert has cemented his place in the top tier of college players. Following the 2018 season, Herbert’s junior year, many speculated that he would declare for the NFL draft. This was not to be the case.
Now, with Herbert returning to Eugene for his senior season, a great opportunity presents itself for the young quarterback. Will one more season with the Ducks allow his draft stock to rise and send him smoothly into a high first-round pick?
Bri Amaranthus, of NBC Sports Northwest, explains in an article that, along with being listed as a top-10 NFL Draft prospect heading into the 2020 Draft, Herbert has also been ranked as the number-one prospect of the senior class, and attained one of the highest senior ratings of the decade. These accolades speak for themselves, but there is certainly more to consider on this topic.
Even though Herbert is ranked very highly right now, there is still so much more room for him to grow during the next season. The Ducks have perhaps assembled their strongest offensive core since the Mariota years, and it is important to realize that at the heart of this is Herbert’s unmatched ability to move the ball down the field. This presents a huge opportunity for Herbert to raise his draft stock to its highest extent.
In an article from 247Sports, writer Erik Skopil explains that several offensive positions on the Ducks have received massive upgrades going into the 2019 season. On the offensive line, the key for Ducks’ success will be experience. Led by Penei Sewell, the veteran O-Line will be an absolute force, providing Herbert with all the time and space he needs. “This year, the group, which could feature up to four senior starters, should be among the best in the country,” explains Skopil.
Will the depth on the offensive line allow Herbert to bring his play, and his draft stock, to the next level?
In the same article from 247Sports, Skopil describes a “boatload” of young four-star talent on the Ducks’ receiving core. Last fall, the Ducks added two four-star receivers, Bryan Addison and Isaah Crocker. They both redshirted in 2018, but after a year of development, they will surely have a chance to contribute in 2019. Furthermore, the Ducks were able to sign three more four-star talents at the position in the 2019 class: Mycah Pittman, Josh Delgado and Lance Wilhoite.
Herbert is widely known to be a great passer who can stretch the field on every drive. Will this speed, strength and pure talent at the receiving position allow him to raise his game in 2019?
Herbert has the potential, and now the tools on offense, to jump to a first overall pick. Will he deliver? Share your thoughts below.
Eugene, OregonTop Photo by Kevin Cline
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in digital marketing in Chicago, Illinois.
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