Ducks

Justin Herbert wins Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year

Ducks

One year ago, Oregon Ducks senior quarterback Justin Herbert was hoisting the Offensive MVP trophy in the air after a thrilling 28-27 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2020 Rose Bowl game. 

After getting selected No. 6 overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 NFL Draft, Herbert’s sensational rookie season will end with another trophy added to Herbert’s collection. 

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Justin Herbert has officially been voted by the fans and named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of Year.

Herbert beat out Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the race after Jefferson nearly broke the rookie receiving record set back in 1960. The other finalists were Jaguars running back James Robinson, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and and offensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tristan Wirfs.

Here's how the voting broke down: 

1) Justin Herbert (21 votes: Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Burleson, Carr, Casserly, Chadiha, Filice, Hanzus, Lewis, Mariucci, O'Hara, Parr, Patra, Rosenthal, Ross, Sessler, Thomas, Zierlein)

2) Justin Jefferson (10 votes: Cersosimo, Davis, Frelund, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, McGinest, Pioli, Shook, Smith)

T-3) Jonathan Taylor (1 vote: Rank)

T-3) Tristan Wirfs (1 vote: Baldinger)

Let’s flash back to when Herbert was first drafted by Los Angeles.

Four-year Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn stated that the team was going to start 10-year veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback in the coming season. It was expected that Herbert would come into the game should Taylor underperform or in late-game situations. 

 

Minutes before the Chargers kicked off hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in week two, Taylor was ruled out and Herbert got his first chance. He took it and ran with it. 

Despite Los Angeles recording a 7-9 record and missing out on the playoffs, Herbert was a bright spot breaking record after record and becoming the NFL’s leader in passing touchdowns in a rookie season. 

Herbert threw for 4336 yards and 31 touchdowns with a 66.66% completion percentage against 10 interceptions. He also recorded 5 touchdowns rushing,

The Chargers have their quarterback for the future. 

Now it’s all about the team getting healthy and learning how to finish games so Los Angeles can compete in the AFC West division with the likes of Kansas City.