Justin Herbert: Stepping in for Tom Brady would be 'special opportunity' for anyone

Justin Herbert: Stepping in for Tom Brady would be 'special opportunity' for anyone

The New England Patriots could be in the running for a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft, and there are several quality players the team could select if they choose to target that position.

One of them is Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. He completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions for the Ducks in 2019. Oregon finished 12-2 and beat Wisconsin 28-27 in the Rose Bowl, although Herbert struggled in that win with 138 passing yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Herbert, like most of the other top prospects in the 2020 draft class, is in Indianapolis this week for the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. He plans to throw at the combine, per NFL Media's Tom Pelissero. Herbert spoke to reporters Tuesday morning and was asked about contact he's had with the Patriots, and what it would be like to step in for Tom Brady.

Herbert is the third-best QB in this class, behind Heisman Trophy winner and LSU star Joe Burrow (No. 1) and Alabama standout Tua Tagovailoa (No. 2). Some mock drafts have Herbert going as high as No. 6 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers, who need a quarterback after the departure of veteran Philip Rivers. 

The Patriots don't pick until No. 23 in the first round, so it's unlikely Herbert will be available when it's their turn to pick. It's always possible the Patriots could move up in the draft, and they're expected to have as many as 12 picks (including compensatory selections), but QB isn't the team's primary need, especially if Brady returns for the 2020 season.

There could be other QBs worth drafting at No. 23, and two of them are Utah State's Jordan Love and Washington's Jacob Eason. Our own Patriots insider Phil Perry had Love going to the Patriots in his most recent NFL mock draft.

Curran-Perry: Can Pats do enough with the roster to appease Brady?

Mind-blowing stat shows Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Mind-blowing stat shows Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Tom Brady may have left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, but New Englanders are still taking time to appreciate the elite 20-year career he had with the Patriots.

Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history. While some will argue that others belong in that conversation, Brady's success in the postseason is simply unparalleled.

Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles and postseason wins of any quarterback in NFL history. He also has more second-half touchdown passes in Super Bowls than any other passer has in all their Super Bowl appearances combined, as the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account pointed out on Sunday afternoon.

That's insanely impressive. But it also makes sense when factoring in Brady's record amount of Super Bowl appearances. Brady has been to nine Super Bowl during his career while no other quarterback has been to more than five (John Elway).

The Patriots will certainly miss Brady's presence as they attempt to get to the postseason for the 12th consecutive year. They'll likely be relying on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be the starter, barring a surprise.

Meanwhile, Brady will attempt to get the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And he'll try to earn them their first Super Bowl victory since Jon Gruden led them to the promised land 17 years ago.

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots' 28-3 comeback victory will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.

Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.

Click here for complete Tom Brady coverage and download the MyTeams App for the latest news and analysis

Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.

He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.

Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.

And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.

(He did).

When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.

It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).