The Los Angeles Chargers believe they have found their next franchise quarterback, selecting Oregon's Justin Herbert with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft.
The Chargers needed a quarterback after letting veteran Philip Rivers leave in free agency, and Herbert fits the bill following Thursday's selection.
At 6-foot-6, Herbert has the size of a prototypical pocket passer. He reads the field well and can fire the ball downfield and into tight spaces with his canon for an arm.
In addition to being a strong-armed QB, Herbert also moves well, showing the ability to evade pressure in the pocket and scramble.
As a senior in 2019, Herbert completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,471 yards with 32 touchdowns to just six interceptions. This came after he passed for 3,151 yards with 29 TD passes and eight picks in 2018. He is the only FBS QB in the last 20 years to have a three-to-one or better touchdown-to-interception ratio in all four seasons of his collegiate career (minimum 100 attempts each season).
Over the past two seasons, Herbert rose to the occasion when the competition got tougher, throwing 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions in eight games against Top 25 teams. He rushed for three touchdowns in Oregon's Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin to join Texas' Vince Young (both in 2005 and 2006) as the only QBs in the last 20 Rose Bowls to rush for at least three TDs.
The task now at hand for Herbert is to buck the trend of Oregon QBs drafted in the first round of struggling in the NFL.
Since the 1970 merger, four Oregon QBs have been selected in the first round – Chris Miller, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Marcus Mariota.
Mariota is still active, but to date none of those four have started as many as 100 games in the NFL, and all four have losing records. Their combined record as starters in the NFL is 92-154 (.374 winning percentage), and Miller is the only one to have earned a Pro Bowl selection.