Justin Herbert Scouting

Justin Herbert Scouting Notes | Highly Efficient

May 16, 2019

After a strong but injury shortened sophomore season, Justin Herbert was considered as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft class but decided to come back for his senior year. Whether it’s the strong arm, beautiful deep throws, or the ability to make plays with his feet Herbert is one of the top quarterbacks for the 2020 NFL Draft. Last summer we took a look at Justin Herbert and his potential, but he enters his senior year we take a deeper look. Our Justin Herbert Scouting Notes takes a look at how he did in three main categories.

Justin Herbert Scouting Notes


One of my main concerns about Herbert from watching him last summer was he didn’t throw with much anticipation. Too often Herbert would have to see the receiver come open before he would make the throw trusting too much in his arm strength. In the Stanford game, Herbert showed several times that he was willing and able to read the defense and deliver the ball before the receiver made his break or even before the receiver is open. Having a strong arm is nice, but in the NFL that can only take you so far. Being able to read the defense and throw your receivers open is next level and if Herbert can continue to do this throughout the season and into the NFL he could be special.

Ball Placement

In the past Herbert’s accuracy and ball placement were not bad, but he was very inconsistent with his downfield accuracy. Against Stanford, Herbert was amazing completing 26 for 33 passes but that doesn’t tell you the full story. Herbert had only two incompletions during regulation and four of his incompletions came at the end of the game, including an interception where he tried to force the ball to a receiver on fourth down. But it’s not like Herbert was dinking and dunking and throwing a bunch of receiver screens. Sure there was some of that, but Herbert was driving the ball down the field, throwing into tight windows and even placing the ball perfectly for his receivers to best catch the ball. At one point Herbert dropped the ball to his receiver and made him adjust so he could protect himself from a defensive back flying in to make a big hit.


With a lot of quarterbacks who have strong arms they get in the habit of rifling in the ball too often and not throwing with much touch which leads to high throws over the middle or to the sideline because they cannot drop the ball in. That wasn’t the case for Herbert who throughout the Stanford game was able take some off the ball and get it to his receivers in some tough spots. Despite taking some of the velocity off, Herbert was able to still drive the ball but still had it drop over the linebacker and into the receiver.

Overall Thoughts

The one player that Herbert continues to remind me of is former Wyoming quarterback and current Bills starter Josh Allen. Both quarterbacks are big, athletic and have cannon of arms. Even their throwing style is the same. But the big difference is Herbert has more touch and anticipation which naturally leads to completing more passes. Herbert has all the potential in the world and if he continues to play at or close to the level that he did against Stanford then he’ll have a shot to go in the top 10 of the 2020 NFL Draft and could be the first quarterback taken.

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