The New England Patriots have made an impression on Justin Herbert.
The Oregon star is one of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, and it sounds like he had a pretty good meeting with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels at the NFL Scouting Combine last week. Here's what he told NBC Sports' Peter King.
FMIA: Who’d you meet at the combine who was impressive, or who you really wanted to meet?
Herbert: “Coach McDaniels with the Patriots. [Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.] That’s a guy I’ve always watched, always looked up to. I love their offense.”
Herbert would be a great long-term solution at quarterback for the Patriots, but it's hard to envision a scenario in which he lands in New England unless Bill Belichick moves up in the first round. The Patriots own the No. 23 pick in Round 1, and as the third-highest rated QB in this class, Herbert could be long gone by the time New England is on the clock.
There are at least three teams that need quarterbacks in the top 10 of the first round. The Cincinnati Bengals are projected to select LSU star and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick. The Miami Dolphins could take Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5, and Herbert could go as high as No. 6 to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Detroit Lions (No. 3), Indianapolis Colts (No. 13), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 14) and the Dolphins again (No. 18) all are potential QB destinations before the Patriots make their first pick.
Herbert definitely would be a solid fit in New England. He's got great physical tools and doesn't make many poor decisions. He also led the Ducks to a Pac-12 conference championship and a Rose Bowl victory last season. His stats were impressive, too, as he completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,471 yards with 32 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Herbert also admitted to reporters last week that he watches film of Tom Brady to help fix his throwing mechanics.
The Patriots, regardless of whether Brady returns for the 2020 season, have to figure out a long-term plan at quarterback. Herbert would be a great option for that, but unless he has an Aaron Rodgers-like fall on draft day, it doesn't seem likely that he'll be playing for the Patriots anytime soon.