Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence are both budding stars at quarterback.
In Herbert’s first season as a pro, the No. 6 overall pick by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 rewrote NFL record books during a historic rookie campaign.
The Eugene, Oregon quarterback prodigy torched the rookie records for total touchdowns (36), passing touchdowns (31), completions (396), multi-passing touchdown games (10), games with 300 yards passing (eight) and three-passing touchdown games (six).
It’s a path that prospective No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence hopes to achieve in his first NFL season, and why many are comparing the two QBs with free agency and the 2021 draft right around the corner.
On The Colin Cowherd podcast featuring Colin Cowherd and long-time NFL talent evaluator Greg Cosell, the two discussed whether it’s a hot take to say Herbert is better than Lawrence, who has been nicknamed Justin Herbert-plus.
"When I look at Justin Herbert, he is a lot more special than people realize,” Cowherd said. “He is actually potentially a greater talent than Trevor Lawrence."
Herbert and Lawrence are both the same size physically and their measurements are also comparable. The former Clemson star came in at 6-5, 213 pounds at his pro day, while the former Oregon standout is a bit thicker at 6-6, 237 pounds.
While both have raw talent and a rare combination of size and arm talent, Cosell believes Herbert boasts more athletic gifts.
"To me, Herbert is a big big time talent,” Cosell said. “He is a bigger man than Trevor Lawrence. He is an easier thrower. Lawrence obviously has a very very good arm. I would argue that Herbert's is naturally more powerful. But Lawrence has no issues with arm strength. I think Herbert is more purely physically gifted than Trevor Lawrence. Having said that, I don't want people listening to this thinking that I don't think Lawrence is a really good prospect. Of course, Lawrence is a really good prospect...
On paper, there’s no denying that Lawrence is an ideal NFL prospect, if not the future of a franchise like Herbert. Lawrence won his first national title as a 19-year-old freshman and finished his career with the Tigers with a record of 38-2.
The ball shoots out of his arm like a cannon, he has a unique ability to escape the pocket and he has a list of intangibles that NFL teams crave in a No. 1 overall selection. But will those traits translate to production?
Despite so-called experts questioning Herbert’s leadership ahead of the draft and prematurely labeling him a “bust,” the 22-year-old silenced the naysayers with an impressive campaign that earned him official NFL hardware as 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Like Herbert, Lawrence will, too, have to prove the doubters wrong and cement his status amongst the NFL’s elite.