In a 2020 NFL Draft overshadowed by Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert went somewhat quietly to the Chargers at pick No. 6. Not even Herbert or Los Angeles’ front office could’ve anticipated how strong a rookie season the former Oregon star would eventually have.
The 6-foot-6 big-armed quarterback posted one of the best rookie seasons by a quarterback in league history. After getting an unexpected start in Week 2 after a team doctor accidently punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung with a pregame injection meant to ease pain around Taylor’s rib area, Herbert took advantage of the opportunity.
The sixth overall pick completed 66 percent of his throws for 311 yards and a touchdown against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. It wasn’t an anomaly, either. Herbert went on to throw for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions in 15 games. He broke NFL rookie quarterback records in passing touchdowns (31) and most completions (396).
Simply put, the Los Angeles Chargers seem to have found their franchise star quarterback. Believe it or not, he could be even better in year two.
Chargers’ newcomer Jared Cook had high praise for the second-year quarterback on Tuesday. He highlighted Herbert’s ability to pick up the offense in a hurry, per Chargers reporter Fernando Ramirez.
#Chargers TE Jared Cook says of QB Justin Herbert “smart quarterback.” He says he has been with QB’s his (Herbert) age in the past who can’t get the offense down, but he says that is not the case with number 10, “he is on it, man….he is on it.”
— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) June 15, 2021
Justin Herbert put up gaudy numbers in year one. Imagine what he’ll be capable in year two with more continuity.
Priority No. 1 for Los Angeles this off-season was to get Herbert more help on the offensive line. The Chargers did just that by taking Northwestern standout Rashawn Slater in the 2021 NFL Draft.
If the Chargers can give Herbert more time in the pocket later this fall, he could be in line for an even better statistical season.