As Senior Bowl week comes to a close, the NFL Draft season is beginning to heat up.
While NFL front offices are updating their scouting reports, college-eligible players are now entering the most scrutinized few months of their young careers. Players spend this time trying to prove to teams that they deserve to be drafted as high as possible. However, this strategy can be disastrous, as the team that drafts a player can have a massive impact on his career.
Take former Duck Marcus Mariota. A player with a remarkable collegiate career and tremendous talent, he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans, who never seemed to properly utilize his skills. Now Mariota will likely spend the off-season looking for a new team, and will most likely be in a backup role.
Herbert has a chance to be great, an opportunity that Mariota has never had. However, in order to reach his potential, he needs to be drafted by the right team.
Here are the three teams that I believe will give Herbert the best opportunity for success.
After Joe Burrow likely goes number one overall to the Bengals, the next team eyeing a quarterback may be the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are a very young and inexperienced team with loads of assets in the upcoming drafts. Currently Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting quarterback, while former first round pick Josh Rosen rides the pine.
If Herbert were to be drafted by the Dolphins, he would probably compete for the starting job immediately. However, if he were to sit, he would learn under an established long-time veteran in Fitzpatrick. Although Herbert was essentially a four-year starter at Oregon, he still is quite raw and could greatly benefit from watching and learning from Fitzpatrick and Rosen.
Although the Dolphins did finish the season with an abysmal 5-11 record, they proved to be a feisty and battle-tested team under new head coach Brian Flores. Coach Flores, paired with established receiver Devante Parker, could set up Herbert for success in Miami.
Los Angeles Chargers
After 14 years, it looks like Phillip Rivers‘ time as the Los Angeles Chargers‘ starting quarterback is coming to an end.
As Rivers’ career winds down, the Chargers will begin looking for their new franchise quarterback. If Herbert is still available at pick six, they may want to look no further for their next signal caller.
The Chargers currently have Tyrod Taylor under contract for one more season, however he has yet to prove himself a reliable full-time starter. Nevertheless, he is a talented veteran with experience who could be very beneficial to a young quarterback like Herbert.
Currently, the Chargers are far more talented and more ready to win than the Dolphins. If Herbert were a Charger, he would have receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at his disposal, along with Austin Eckler and Hunter Henry as secondary options.
Herbert would be set up for instant success with the Chargers, which is something most teams looking for a rookie quarterback can not say.
New England Patriots
You may love them or you may hate them, but if you want Herbert to succeed as much as I do then the Patriots may be his best option.
The New England Patriots have been the gold standard for NFL success over the past two decades. Much of that has to do with the GOAT, Tom Brady.
Nevertheless, the six-time Super Bowl winner will be 43 years old next season, and has already shown signs of decline this past year. Not to mention, rumor has it that head coach Bill Belichick has been ready to move on from Brady for a couple of years now.
In an ideal world the Patriots would re-sign Brady to a one-year deal, draft Herbert, and allow Herbert to learn under the best quarterback and coach of all time. Herbert would then eventually take over for Brady and begin a new era for the best professional sports franchise of the past 20 years.
Although Herbert would likely have to slip in the draft to end up with the Patriots, it is undoubtably his best route for NFL success and future Lombardi trophies.
Herbert’s Other Options
Even though these three teams give Herbert the best chance to be successful, there are still plenty of other teams desperate for a franchise quarterback.
The Colts, Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers are all unstable at the quarterback position, and may be interested in a quarterback like Herbert to fill that need. These four teams do have their strengths, but they also all bring barriers and challenges for a young quarterback.
It is impossible to determine how Herbert will do in the NFL and what teams are best suited to take advantage of his skill set. But one thing I believe we can all agree on is that we do not want another Mariota scenario for him.
Where do you want Herbert to land? Where do you think he will land?
Eugene, OR Top Photo from Twitter
Bob Rodes, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester, Tennessee.
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