Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

The first day of the NFL Draft is officially in the books.

Teams have made their decisions on a player they hope will help improve their team and even help alter the trajectory of their organization.

One notable selection was Oregon Duck quarterback Justin Herbert being selected No. 6 by the Los Angeles Chargers.

Herbert will join 10-year veteran Tyrod Taylor and two-year QB Easton Stick (North Dakota State). The one thing he has against him in this scenario is his NFL experience, which all rookies obviously have to deal with.

There was some speculation on whether Herbert would be headed to LA or to the Miami Doplphins at No. 5. 

Miami opted for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. 

Joe Burrow went No. 1 overall to the Bengals. 

Although Herbert is recognized as one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft, former Oregon football head coach Mike Bellotti gives his reasoning for why Burrow and Tua were picked ahead of him.

One of the other things I noticed with Burrow and Tua is the creativity, the movement, the physical ability to create plays on the run and move and slide out of the pocket and we didn’t see that as much with Justin [Herbert]. That’s partly by the style of the offense, partly by how he was coached. He going to have to create more things at the professional level. - Mike Bellotti


Both Burrow and Tagovailoa are recognized for their ability to make plays outside of the pocket and making great throws with pinpoint accuracy when the play breaks down. With the type of weapons both Tua and Burrow had in college, those types of situations looked easy for both quarterbacks.

Alabama had wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy come off the board in the first round. LSU's Justin Jefferson went No. 22 to the Vikings.

Now, with Herbert having offensive weapons at his disposal, Bellotti believes that Herbert could really shine in this situation with the Chargers.

Do they all have tremendous upside? Yes, they do. Justin maybe more than others.  I don’t know if he’s had the type of athletes on the outside that can affect the coverage. When you have one guy only in your offense that can maybe get open, and that’s a maybe, it’s not going to work as well. You’re going to have throw better balls, tighter windows… 

I’m saying yes, his performance is going to be enhanced by being around better weapons. — Mike Bellotti

Herbert will now get a chance to pass to wide receivers Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and tight end Hunter Henry.

Former first-round NFL Draft pick and Oregon football quarterback Joey Harrington believes that Herbert is walking into the best situation as a rookie quarterback with all the weapons he has to work with.

That’s why the situation he’s walking into is so fantastic. He’s got guys who have proven themselves at their position. Joe Burrow’s not walking into that, Tua’s not walking into that. 

I have to like what Justin is walking into compared to what he worked with at Oregon. — Joey Harrington

Herbert has a lot to prove, but we will have to wait and see if he gets the opportunity to start this year with a veteran like Tyron Taylor most likely taking the lead.

Listen to the Talkin’ Ducks podcast here.