LA Chargers: Best and worst-case recent comparisons for Justin Herbert

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) - LA Chargers Justin Herbert
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) - LA Chargers Justin Herbert /

The LA Chargers drafted their quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert.

With the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers selected Oregon quarterback, Justin Herbert. There was some hope in the Charger fanbase that Tua Tagovailoa would fall to the sixth pick, but he did not and Herbert is now the guy.

There was initially a mixed bag of reactions to the Chargers drafting Herbert but it is safe to say now that most fans have bought into Herbert being the future and will support him moving forward.

He likely won’t see much playing time, if any at all, in the 2020 season as Tyrod Taylor appears to be the starting quarterback. Anthony Lynn is high on Taylor and this allows Herbert a year to grow into a starting quarterback.

There is still a mixed bag of expectations for Herbert, with some projecting him to be great and exactly what the Chargers need while others tab him with bust potential. We wanted to jump into the fun and compare Herbert to two recently drafted quarterbacks as the best-case and worst-case scenario for Herbert.

Best-case comparison for LA Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert: Carson Wentz

Take away the injuries and it is undeniable that Carson Wentz is a good quarterback. Yes, there is something to be said about him not being able to win the big game, but Wentz is young and was already carving out an MVP season in his second year before being hurt.

That version of Wentz is the best-case scenario for Justin Hebert in the NFL, which means with the right pieces around him, Herbert could absolutely one day be an MVP candidate. He has the arm and the athleticism to put up big numbers and if that all translates then there is not a lot holding him back.

Wentz is a similar big-bodied quarterback with a great arm that can extend plays with his feet on top of being a really accurate passer. He is going to consistently float around 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns every season and as we saw in 2017, has the potential to be even better than that when his receiving coprs is not extremely banged up.

The one thing we do not want to translate is the injury concerns, as Charger fans already have to deal with enough injuries every season as is.

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Worst-case comparison for LA Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert: Paxton Lynch

If everything goes wrong for Justin Herbert in the NFL then I am worried he could be another version of Paxton Lynch. A big, athletic quarterback with a rocket arm that is a bit raw and could not handle the pressure of the NFL and finds himself out of a starting job as quickly as he got one.

The biggest flaws in Herbert heading into the draft has been his mental toughness and his poor performance in big games for Oregon. That has understandably led to some concerns that he will not make the jump to the NFL easily.

Herbert is more polished than Lynch but they both have that similar high-reward potential and have very similar makeups just in terms of passing ability and the ability to extend plays. Lynch is a bit bigger, but Herbert is a bit faster.

Their college numbers are pretty comparable as well. In his last two seasons at Oregon, Herbert completed 526 of 832 passes (63.2 percent) for 6,622 yards, 61 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He averaged eight yards per attempt.

Lynch completed 555 of 856 attempts (64.8 percent) for 6,807 yards, 50 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He averaged eight yards per attempt.

Paxton did utilize his legs more often whereas Herbert uses them more to extend plays when he needs to, but with the concerns around Herbert being able to take the next step, it, unfortunately, is possible that he experiences the same rough start and fallout that Lynch did with the Denver Broncos.

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I think that is very unlikely and the LA Chargers would not give up on him that soon, but it absolutely is a possibility.