Allow me to play the role of complete Oregon homer for a moment. Justin Herbert should be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He’s got the size, arm, smarts and mobility that NFL teams are looking for in a prototypical first overall pick.
But, whereas presumed No. 1 pick Joe “one year wonder” Burrow was coached up his senior year, Herbert was coached down. I’ve been “negative” (more like prudent, read this article) in my assessment of the Oregon offensive coaching the staff the past two years, but I digress. What’s done is done, and we have to analyze this draft based on reality, not what we thought should have happened.
The draft is the last thing to tie us to the 2019 season. Moving forward, the correction on offense has been made. Joe Moorhead is the new Offensive Coordinator, making the Ducks’ offensive future look bright.
Father Time is Big on Herbert
If only all NFL insiders thought as 87-year-old NFL.com draft analyst and Sirius XM radio host Gil Brandt does.
In his Hall of Fame career, Brandt pioneered many scouting techniques such as using computers for evaluations, looking outside football for prospects, and drafting based on potential in the lower rounds.
When asked on his Twitter feed, “Gil, if you could have any quarterback after Burrow, who would it be?“
Brandt, who was the Cowboys’ VP of Player Personnel from 1960-1988, replied, “Herbert, and maybe before Burrow.”
Draft Experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay
They made a $5,000 bet (for charity) a couple months ago about who would get drafted first, Herbert or Utah State’s Jordan Love. Kiper went for Herbert, McShay for Love. It’s looking as though Kiper should win that one easily as Herbert’s draft stock has been trending up since the NFL Scouting Combine
Kiper: In his latest mock-draft he has Herbert going No. 6 to the Chargers, with Joe Burrow going No. 1 to Cincinnati and Tua Tagovailoa going No. 5 to Miami.
This seems to fall in line with more of the mainstream school of thought. But then there’s …
McShay: He has Herbert going No. 9 to Jacksonville. With again, Burrow going No. 1, Tagovailoa going No. 5, and Love going No. 6.
I don’t see that happening. WSU’s Gardner Minshew (remember him, Duck fans?) showed a lot of promise his rookie year. I think they go with Minshew and bring in a veteran to compete with him, not a rookie.
Where Will He Go?
Cincinnati at No. 1, Miami at No. 5, and the LA Chargers at No. 6 are the Top 3 quarterback-needy teams.
There is an unlikely scenario in which the Bengals could trade down a couple of spots, accumulate picks, and then draft Herbert. There is also some thought that the Dolphins could get cold feet on Tua due to his injury history, and draft Herbert instead.
While there are rumblings that these scenarios could play out, there is no overwhelming evidence that it’s really going to happen.
So, I’m going to play it safe, and say Herbert goes No. 6 to the Chargers.
What do y’all think?
Top photo credit: Eugene Johnson
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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