Justin Herbert: Better Than Trevor Lawrence?

Darren Perkins Editorials 29 Comments

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I was sitting on my couch sipping coffee and wiping the sleep from my eyes Monday morning when I heard sports pundit Ryan Clark — of ESPN’S sports talk show “Get Up” with Mike Greenberg — mention that he believed Trevor Lawrence’s “rookie year ceiling” would be to put up the same type of numbers that Justin Herbert did in 2020. “Yes!“, I shouted inside of my head because I was still too lethargic to verbalize anything resembling the English language.

That’s right, the highest that many experts expect of  Lawrence, the all-encompassing top pro-ready quarterback prospect in a decade since Andrew Luck in 2012, is that he could possibly match what Herbert did in his record-setting rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Chargers. How proud this must make Oregon fans feel that their undervalued former quarterback is now the gold standard by which top rookie quarterbacks are measured.

Sport-talk titan Colin Cowherd believes Herbert is potentially a better talent than Lawrence, and also on Cowherd’s show, NFL insider Greg Cosell of ESPN’S NFL Matchup believes Herbert to be more physically gifted than Lawrence.

So what is Herbert’s ceiling? Solid NFL starter? Pro-Bowler? Hall-of-Famer? Or, will the sophomore jinx take hold of Herbert in 2021?

I’ll be betting that he turns out to be better than Trevor Lawrence.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, Washington
Top photo credit: Twitter

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

A business guy will understand more than a sports executive, but I know nothing about this guy.

Said University of Oregon president Michael Schill: “What drew us to George was his ability to see where the hockey puck was going to go.”

That’s quite a weird quote from the president of a school and conference that does not compete in Hockey.

Uh Oh.


Well, he went to Yale, which does have a hockey team. :)


TL will not have the weapons this year as JH had last year, so TL’s rookie season will not surpass JH’s last year. Who is best for entire career could go either way based on many things both in and out of each’s control.


Herbert was one of the most pressured QBs last year playing behind an injury plagued OL. He played at a very high level despite this. The Chargers are healthy and brought in some serious talent to beef up the line. Injured RB Austin Ekeler also returns. Chargers have a good chance to make the playoffs this year if the new coaching staff can win close games in the fourth quarter.

Lawrence is playing for a team with a crappy roster led by a former college coach. I think he’s inherited a bad situation and I don’t think he’s as talented as Herbert. Herbert’s bigger stronger, faster, and smarter. I’ll be surprised if Lawrence plays as well as Herbert did last year.


I think it is way too early to tell but I’d always put my money on the known vs unknown. What we do know is the Herbert played at an elite level as a rookie, we have no clue as how Lawerence will play in the nfl. I think the biggest concern for both QB’s is coaching and the consistency in coaching. We all saw what happened to Mariota in Tennessee and the question is will that happen to either herbert or Lawrence.

reasons of concern for Trevor Lawrence,

  1. coach that has never coached nfl
  2. coach that always quits his team due to ‘health issues’
  3. coach that hasn’t truly turned a program around since 2001(bowling green)
  4. coach that is heavily reliant on scheme play

Reasons of concern for Herbert

  1. second coach in two years(I see this as a positive I just hope he doesn’t go through the merry go round like Mariota)

I see both players as very good, High ceiling players, Herbert has better arm strength, Lawrence has more consistent mechanics. I think their careers will be dictated the coaching staffs.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Urban Meyer….hasn’t turned a team around since Bowling Green? He took a good SEC program in Florida and made them National Champs twice, turned Utah into a team that beat Alabama, (and us) and made National Champs out of a top 10 Buckeye program…when they hadn’t done it awhile.

I don’t like him either, but he is to me…one of the best coaches of the current college game. Will that translate to the NFL? Unknown, but entertaining to watch!


Urban was the coach at Utah following McBride. Which was a relatively steady albeit not as successful as they have been since. It was whittingham that coached the 2008 sugar bowl game 5 years after Meyer left. I just don’t think it was a ‘Turnaround’ like bowling green. plus hard two have a turnaround in only 2 seasons.

as for florida, he had a successful run but I wouldn’t call it a turn around. The previous season florida went 8-5. Florida was still running high from the steve spurrier seasons and was still recruiting at an elite level. Again good program and he was definitely successful but not a turnaround.

lastly Ohio state. Again not arguing his success but Ohio state was only one year removed from Tressel’s 12-1 sugar bowl season(All vacated). Ohio State’s last regular season losing record was in 88. again not a turn around.

Jacksonville is so bad they have only finished 1st in their division 3 times(twice in the 90’s). They also have only one winning season since 2008.

I am not trying to discredit his success because outside of saban no other coach has been as successful in college football. I just think it takes a specific type to turn around programs not to mention will he have success in the NFL when most college coaches don’t.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

You are right in that he has shown he can take a successful team and make it a champion, but has not proven if he can take a 1-15 team and turn it into a winner and/or champion. Fun to watch!


Pete Carrol is in my opinion the only successful college head coach turned head nfl head coach that I can remember. I think Harbaugh had a pretty good run in san fran that was ruined by his front office but I can’t think of to many more.

Chip wasn’t very good. Saban failed in miami. Rich Brooks went 13-19. Butch davis…. Well before i was born you had Lou Holtz move to the Jets… oh and mike riley.

I don’t know if I would put money on a college coach being successful in the nfl.


Chip was a decent NFL coach that never had a decent QB – Sam Bradford, Nick Foles, an old Michael Vick, and Colin Kaepernick The mistake he made was trying take on additional player personnel duties in the NFL. He had a winning record in Philly before taking over a moribund SF team with the worst GM in sports, Trent Balke, the same GM that the Jaguars now have.

David Marsh

Lawrence at Clemson has always had top recruits surrounding him. Years worth of top recruits and depth. He always had top receivers to target, a strong offensive line and a strong running back corp.. AND a consistently strong defense.

The defensive side of the game is something that cannot be taken for granted as a good defense gets the ball back to the offense. A strong defense also allows the offense to play how they want to play as they are not often playing from behind. This enables the offense to just play more efficient.

It will be difficult to truly compare the two, even in the NFL. Herbert went to the Chargers, who had problems the previous year but wide receivers weren’t one of those problems which really allowed Herbert to show off his potential in ways he never had the opportunity to at Oregon.

I don’t know the NFL that well at all so I don’t know the state of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though they will not have a talent advantage over their competition and Lawrence will actually have a whole season to play where his team isn’t enormously favored due to a talent gap.

So we will have to see…


Herbert’s rookie season surprised pretty much everyone. It is pretty cool that he now owns most of the rookie QB records and is now considered the “measuring stick” for highly touted QB’s like Trevor Lawrence.

The amount of adversity that Herbert faced and overcame in college definitely helped him prepare for the adversity that rookie NFL QB’s face. Lawrence is somewhat of an unknown commodity in how he deals with tough losses, and fewer blow out wins.

I am hopeful the Chargers can improve their offensive line and better protect Herbert. Herbert makes the fifty to sixty yard pass look so effortless. If he can continue to improve, then we will definitely see him in the playoffs soon. I am quickly becoming a Charger fan…I will always be a Herbert fan.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Colin Cowherd reported that the Chargers were one of the best of all the NFL teams at addressing their needs in the offseason. First they went out and got an All-Pro Center to place a very weak one, and then drafted the second best offensive tackle at the blind side, (Slater of Northwestern) to protect Herbert, and then drafted another superb offensive lineman in the second round.

Very, very encouraging…


The Chargers leadership seems to be very proactive in building around Herbert and making appropriate moves to do so, not only rebuilding the OL with talented guys but also a new head coach to build an offense around Herbert’s strengths. Imagine if Tennessee had taking things that seriously with Mariota and how much better his career would have been to this point.


Mr. Perkins, Malcolm Gladwell used drafting a successful pro QB as one of the most difficult predictions to make. In fact, Gladwell used Detroit’s picking Joey Harrington as an example; all indications were for Harrington to be successful. How did that workout? Sigh!

To your point, Herbert’s numbers may dip in the upcoming season, he won’t be overlooked by any NFL defensive coordinator. But as Cowherd said ( I paraphrase) “ he has Marino/ Elway elite arm strength.”

My observation from watching Herbert develop while at Oregon, the guy is big in a thick, muscular way which is again comparable to Elway or Marino. Lawrence is spindly and when scrambling plods upright, which must make pro safeties and corners eyes light up, thinking of lighting Old Trevor up (these are not the Wake Forest, NC State defenders he overwhelmed in the ACC). I wish Lawrence well, seems like a good guy, really nice hair, wonder what brand of conditioner he uses?

In the long run, the only thing which will hold Herbert back is the Charger organization. But from the draft choices it appears management and ownership realize what a generational player they have in Herbert and are building around him for the future.


Justin Herbert is the green and yellow standard for NFL rookie quarterbacks and all and every quarterback going forward from any program. No longer are Oregon qb’s compared to some of our duds.

Oregon has two of the biggest flops in NFL rookie qb history. We now have the number 1 greatest rookie ever. It is nice to see the trend go in this direction.

We have our first Heisman winner at qb and now a head turner as NFL rookie. Oregon is, again, becoming the place to play qb. Who in this next group of qb’s is going to be great in the NFL?


I would have also titled the article, Trevor Lawrence: Can he or anyone do better than Justin Herbert’s rookie season? I just think most rookie qb’s have a lot going against them. Some never start, others are thrown into starting before they are ready. Too few have the opportunity Aaron Rogers had, or even Justin Herbert.

Even Aaron Rogers wanted to play early, felt he was better than backing up Farve. Ironically he is now upset the Packers brought in a rookie last year to learn from him.

The other extreme is what Joey went through. You have a train wreck of a team where you are expected to fix all the mistakes of the worst GM in NFL history.

Seldom do you have a mixture of patience and a program which can support a talented qb. Justin was lucky, but also extremely talented, so was and is Aaron Rogers.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Great catch Darren, as it feels great that Herbert is being recognized by so many as so talented…and coming from Eugene Oregon!

Yet the hype associated with Lawrence because he was from Clemson, coupled with how Herbert did not demonstrate such extreme success while at Oregon–sure reveals how far Oregon has yet to go in recruiting and player development to be a Playoff team.

So….should Herbert have been a No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, or should Lawrence have dropped down to No. 6 or so?

A bittersweet revelation for certain…