LA Chargers: Justin Herbert ranked among top backup quarterbacks

LA Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the best backups in the NFL.

After parting ways with long-time starter Philip Rivers, who signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts, the LA Chargers selected Oregon’s Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Herbert became just the fourth quarterback to be selected in the first round by the Chargers, joining Eli Manning (who was flipped for Philip Rivers), Ryan Leaf and Marty Domres. Those three quarterbacks have won a combined eight games as a starter for the Chargers, so Herbert is looking to break a trend.

However, before he gets the chance to break the trend and cement himself as the franchise quarterback of the future, Justin Herbert is going to back up Tyrod Taylor for a season. As his backup, Herbert is one of the league’s best.

Justin Herbert is ranked as the seventh-best starting quarterback in the NFL.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranked all 32 backup quarterbacks in the NFL heading into the 2020 season and it did not take long for Charger fans to see the name of their backup quarterback.

Herbert slots in as the seventh-best starting quarterback in the league, which might seem a bit low considering how high Charger fans hope Herbert’s ceiling is. However, it is not a bad ranking in the slightest for a player that has not played a single NFL snap.

The six quarterbacks that rank ahead of Herbert on Rosenthal’s list are Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett, Nick Foles and Case Keenum. I would say that I have to agree with that for the most part, aside from Keenum being ranked sixth. Keenum is a very overrated NFL quarterback.

Herbert ranks ahead of some other notable quarterbacks, including Las Vegas Raiders’ Marcus Mariota (eighth), second-round pick Jalen Hurts (10th), Kanas City Chiefs’ Chad Henne (13th) and Denver Broncos’ Jeff Driskel (25th).

Again, have to agree with Rosenthal here. Herbert obviously has a lot of talent and a high ceiling, hence why he was picked with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

One thing that I will note is that I think it is very unlikely that Justin Herbert starts a single game for the LA Chargers in 2020. While you could make the case for him starting under certain circumstances, I broke down why that is not the case here.

If it really came down to it, and the Tyrod Taylor got hurt and the team was not in a playoff position, then I think the team could bypass Herbert for Easton Stick. If the team is in a playoff position then that is another story.

Next: Is Earl Thomas worth pursuing?

Regardless, if Herbert does get any snaps in 2020 then Charger fans can at least take solace in knowing that he is one of the most qualified backups to do it.