The carousel of mock drafts always come back to the 6’6 gunslinger from Oregon. The latest from Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo is no different. In the senior analyst’s first-round mock, he has the Miami Dolphins trading up to the number two with Washington in order to draft Tua Tagovailoa. The Lions stay put at number three to grab Jeff Okudah. The Giants then select Chase Young who surprisingly falls right into their lap and then Washington gets their left tackle of the future in...Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. That pick by Washington is probably the most surprising one in the top-5 mostly due to the fact Thomas has been the consensus OT4 for the majority of NFL Draft analysts.
But those picks leave plenty of good players for the Chargers to select at 6. They have the likes of Isaiah Simmons, Jedrick Wills, and Tristan Wirfs. But of course, they need that dang quarterback. So Palazzolo pairs Herbert with the Bolts like so many have before.
Here’s what he had to say about the selection:
“While Herbert doesn’t project as well as Burrow or Tagovailoa at the next level, the Chargers have an excellent roster aside from question marks with Tyrod Taylor as the listed starter. Herbert does his best work down the field in between the numbers, and wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen along with tight end Hunter Henry should play well with his skillset. Finding a solid quarterback is a risky proposition, and picking Herbert certainly is risky despite his excellent tools, but the payout is too great if he can put it all together.”
Palazzolo is correct in that Herbert’s strength’s as a passer would fit well into the Chargers vertical offense. This team’s offense has churned most efficiently when it has taken advantage of mismatches between the numbers and getting the ball to their players in space. Drafting some speed at wide receiver would allow the Chargers to get back to their high usage of crossing routes when Rivers used to get it out to Tyrell Williams and let him run away from chasing defenders.
Herbert is also one of the best quarterbacks at throwing outside the pocket in this year’s draft. I fully expect offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to switch-up the offense from a straight-forward dropback-and-pass offensive to one that utilizes more play-action bootlegs and schemes to move the pocket. Both would allow the offensive line to succeed more consistently as they wouldn’t be stuck in one-on-one pass-rush situations as often like they have been over the last decade.
How are you all still feeling about Justin Herbert as the pick at #6? I’m getting the sense that this team will trade up the closer we get tot he draft. After all, Daniel Jeremiah hasn’t done a mock with in the last few months that doesn’t have the Bolts trading up for Tua. Does he know something that we don’t?