On Thursday morning, Electronic Arts, the people behind the Madden football franchise, released the initial ratings for every rookie quarterback from the 2020 draft. Most notably, we got to see the first ratings for the four signal-callers taken in the first round, including sixth-overall pick, Justin Herbert.
Passing stats for all 4 first-round quarterbacks: pic.twitter.com/RKrVQw0C5B— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) July 9, 2020
To the surprise of many, although Herbert was the third QB taken, he is the fourth-highest rated rookie at the position by Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jordan Love. Burrow is unsurprisingly the top guy with an overall rating of 76. Tagovailoa is starting at 73 while Love and Herbert follow with a 71 and 70 overall rating, respectively.
To gain some clarity on why Herbert falls short in some areas compared to the other top rookie passers, I picked the brain of Andre Weingarten, one of the ratings adjustors for the franchise.
“When watching Herbert, the physical traits jump off the screen. He has an absolute rifle for an arm (9th best in the NFL), and he has very good AA to be a big time run threat. His best area is his short passing, which is furthered by how good he is on play-action/RPOs. The longer the play goes on though, the more he struggles. His accuracy down the field is inconsistent, and pressure really seems to rattle him. Overall, I think you have some really good core building blocks with Herbert, but he will need to improve his poise/accuracy down the field to see a true jump in OVR.”
To be fair, Weingarten is correct in his assessment of the former Oregon Duck. His downfield passing is a bit too erratic at the moment and he doesn’t often make plays out of structure. However, with a 84 rating on play-action passes (tied for the top mark among rookies) he is able to utilize his knack for throwing in rhythm off run fakes.
Herbert was also made a bit more mobile among the rookie passers, even though he didn’t get much of a chance to show off his legs until the end of his senior season. His 82 speed is solid while his 87 acceleration rating is tops among the first-rounders and tied for third among all rookies. As for ball-carrier ratings, Hebert received the highest stiff arm rating (62) and the third-best juke rating (72).
Here are the rest of his notable ratings:
- Short accuracy - 83
- Medium Accuracy - 78
- Deep Accuracy - 76
- Play Action - 84
- Throw Under Pressure - 78
- Throw On The Run - 81
- Throw Power - 92