Justin Herbert is still adjusting to life as an NFL quarterback, but the Los Angeles Chargers rookie has been impressive so far this season.
Through four games, Herbert has a 68.8 completion percentage with 1,195 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions. During a year in which rookies missed out on valuable preseason reps, the Oregon product has looked the part.
Count former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe as a fan of Herbert's. Bledsoe chatted with Brian Noe of NBC Sports Northwest about what Herbert has shown to this point, and it's clear he thinks the 22-year-old will be special (video above).
"I really liked his game in college," Bledsoe said. "I felt like he was hampered a little bit by the offense with the Ducks. But he's accurate, seems to see the field really well, and then you add his athleticism to that where he has some escapability. ...
"Justin's gonna be really successful for a long time. The only thing I want him to do -- and this is hard when you're a competitor -- I want him to put a little bit of Russell Wilson in his game and stop taking the big hits. You watch Russ play and he just doesn't get hit hard. For Justin, he's a big, strong dude, but he's wearing quarterback pads. You can't go take on the linebacker wearing those tiny little shoulder pads. He's going to end up getting himself hurt."
Herbert should take note of that last piece of advice, because Bledsoe learned the hard way after taking a career-altering hit from New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis in 2001.
Herbert and the Chargers will enjoy their bye week, then prepare to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. L.A. is still looking for its first win with Herbert under center.
The Patriots will meet the Chargers and their rookie QB on Dec. 6.