The quarterback position has never been under a brighter spotlight than it has this offseason.
Last year’s draft produced three major talents at the position and two of the game’s best — one old and one still rather young — are coming off an appearance against each other in the latest Super Bowl. On top of that, two former first-round passers got traded to new teams and one of the game’s best and brightest at the position is unsure of whether or not he’ll ever see an NFL field again.
With all of this at the forefront of the NFL offseason, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin has created his current ranking of the NFL’s top-10 quarterbacks ahead of the 2021 season, taking into consideration their current resume on top of how he feels their future successes will play out, as well.
Coming in at number nine on Benjamin’s list is none other than the NFL’s reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year in Justin Herbert. He lands one spot ahead of Arizona’s Kyler Murray and one spot just behind 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson.
Here’s what Benjamin had to say about Herbert’s placement among the top-10:
“If anything, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year is too low. It’s fair to be cautious with hype considering we’ve seen first-round studs flame out before (see: Wentz, Carson; Goff, Jared), but Herbert is a different animal. His rookie poise and production has been matched only by mostly Hall of Fame-caliber talents in NFL history, and he also boasts one of the game’s strongest arms. The physical tools, then, are not even a remote concern. The question is whether he can adapt quickly to a new staff, led by a defensive head coach, and thrive behind a rebuilt offensive line rather than as more of an off-script gunslinger. Either way you slice it, the arrow is pointing up. He’s a prototype under center. He just needs more time to prove he’s sustainable.”
I think Benjamin hit a lot of things on the head with his analysis. What Herbert did in 2020 as a rookie is still amazing. He put his name up there with current and future legends of the game in several categories and so far, nothing can be pointed at with any real pessimism.
According to Brandon Staley and Joe Lombardi, Herbert has picked up the new offense with haste and there’s not worry within the building that a new offense will cause any sort of regression in his sophomore season.
While Herbert thrived outside of the pocket, it doesn’t mean he is going to see down play if tasked with staying inside of it more often in 2021. The improved offensive line cannot be understated here. The offense’s overall efficiency should spike this season and that will create a rather high floor for Herbert, leading to what looks to be another standout campaign for the team’s budding young star.