The New England Patriots head coach and defacto general manager Bill Belichick need to replace Tom Brady. Is Justin Herbert the answer?
Tom Brady is now nothing more than a memory in New England, he's now enjoying the sunshine in Tampa Bay, and the Patriots have a quarterback room consisting of career backup Brian Hoyer, and the Patriots 2019 fourth round selection Jarrett Stidham. The Cincinnati Bengals are dangling Andy Dalton. All the while free agents Cam Newton and Jameis Winston swim around searching for life preservers.
Belichick also has the NFL draft coming up. Joe Burrow from LSU, Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama, Jordan Love from Utah State, Jacob Eason from Washington, and Oregon Duck Justin Herbert are all expected to go in the first round. While Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Tyler Huntley (Utah), James Morgan (FIU), Jacob Fromm (Georgia) are expected to go in the middle rounds, Cole McDonald (Hawaii) and Josh Love (San Jose St) are expected to come off the board in the later rounds.
Matthew Schmidt of Clutch Sports wrote an article really setting fire to the "draft Herbert" bandwagon. "Why the Patriots should trade up to land Justin Herbert In the 2020 Draft."
"According to Peter King of NBC Sports, the Patriots are enamored with University of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert in this year’s NFL Draft. King notes that the Patriots have 12 picks in the draft overall, more than any other team. However, only one of those picks is in the top 85, so New England would almost surely have to part with future picks to move up for Herbert." - Matthew Schmidt Clutch Sports
Herbert, Like Eason were on my Board entering the 2019 season as having potential to be the top two quarterbacks in the draft. Neither had the season that I expected, and I think it is very Possible Herbert could fall to 23. Bill Belichick has not been known for trading up in the first round, It's just never been part of the Patriots Way, and it's doubtful he'll start now.
Detroit, Carolina, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Tampa Bay might be willing to trade down, but Belichick would have to mortgage the Patriots future to get the Lamborghini Veneno of Quarterbacks. There's no guarantee the quarterback won't breakdown when you drive it off the lot, and like a used car, quarterbacks are sold as is. Although it could be a fun drive and cool to own, it could be an expensive toy that you don't get a return for your investment. That could be true for the Patriots if they traded up to get Justin Herbert. Bill is thrifty, so the price has to be right for him to pull the trigger, and a package that includes two first round picks could be a little steep for Belichick.
In 2019 Herbert completed 66.8 percent of his passes, for 3471 yards, throwing 32 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and finishing with a 153.1 QBR. In 43 games Herbert had a completion percentage of 64 percent for 10,541 yards, 95 Touchdowns, 23 interceptions and a 153.1 QBR. Herbert is not a scrambler as he only totalled 530 yards and 13 touchdowns on 231 carries.
"Big, talented full-field scanner able to find the right read and sling it around the yard from the pocket or on the move. Herbert rushed throws in 2018, but he showed marked improvement in that area, excluding the Auburn opener. He trusts his protection while working through coverages and route development and has big-boy arm talent and drive velocity to stress and impress defenses. He's confident attacking downfield, but touch throws evade him and may have created tentativeness with certain short and intermediate throws. Ball placement requires additional emphasis, but upgrading to NFL skill talent could help him bloom. Herbert has a high ceiling and is the most physically gifted quarterback in the draft, but he doesn't have as many "wow" plays as expected for someone with his traits, experience and potential. NFL Comparison: Carson Wentz" - Lance Zierlien.
"Justin Herbert has all of the physical tools to become a franchise quarterback in the NFL, particularly for a vertical passing offense. Herbert presents as a player with consistency issues on timing throws and troublesome lapses under pressure. Ball security is another issue, so Herbert will need to be aided by high level interior OL play to protect him from consistent duress. If everything clicks, he's a top tier talent. But the wrong situation could be nuclear. " - Crabbs TDN
"Herbert gets fidgety with his mechanics when the pocket gets muddy, and his accuracy and decision-making suffer as a result. He has to become more efficient and more confident working through his reads, especially against NFL defenses that will challenge him more in the pre-snap phase. He also needs to put the driver back in his bag every once in a while and throw with better touch." - Athlon Sports
"Herbert has already been banged up quite a bit throughout his career. Protecting him at all costs will be vital. Otherwise, his body may begin to break down at an early age. If all things fall in Herbert’s favor he could quickly turn into a potential franchise QB. If not, he could be searching for another team during his second contract and looking to relight the flame that once made him an intriguing prospect." - Reid TDN
For this writer, Justin Herbert Reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger. He has the play style that both helped and hindered the Steelers organization. The Patriots have had some of their best and worst games against Big Ben. The other thing that reminds me of Ben is the Injuries. We have seen glass quarterbacks like Sam Bradford be on the shelf and out of the league soon after entering. Herbert has that kinda risk. Do the Patriots want to take a risk on a guy who could be a top five quarterback one year, and then join the 30-30 club the next, while being as fragile as a dozen eggs? Herbert is an interesting risk-reward prospect and that's what makes his value questionable.