The LA Chargers had the best rookie quarterback in NFL history in 2020. Justin Herbert broke just about every record there is to break for a rookie quarterback, falling just short of Andrew Luck’s single-season passing yards record.
Keep in mind, Herbert fell only 38 yards short of Luck’s record in one fewer game played. And let’s be honest, he could have passed him in Anthony Lynn didn’t decide to start running the ball exclusively in Week 17.
There is no question that Herbert is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league… for everyone except Pro Football Focus. It has become a running joke among Charger fans that PFF constantly discredits Herbert, because, well… they do.
Many PFF analysts questioned the Herbert selection and went as far as to call him a bust. And while many have since admitted that they were wrong about Herbert and he is not the same guy he was in college, there is still some disrespect sent Herbert’s way.
That is perfectly illustrated by PFF’s recent quarterback rankings in which they ranked all 32 starting quarterbacks in the league. Where do you think Justin Herbert ranked? Somewhere in the 8-10 range feels fair and you could certainly argue that he will be much higher than that by year’s end.
Nope. They ranked him 15th. One spot ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, who checks in right smack dab in the middle.
Ranking Justin Herbert 15th is criminal and can be bulletin board material for the LA Chargers.
I just cannot wrap my head around ranking him this low. If someone is low on Justin Herbert and ranks him in the 10-12 range, then fine, I get it. I think that person is wrong, but I can understand being wary after just one season.
But one spot ahead of Big Ben, whose arm was falling off at the end of the season last year? That is just way too low, especially when you consider the quarterbacks ranked ahead of him.
Kirk Cousins is at 14, which I do not totally hate because he was really good last year, but Herbert’s ceiling is so much higher than Cousins. We know who Cousins is, Herbert is still yet to reach his full potential.
Derek Carr is 13th and it’s gross. Herbert’s completion percentage was 0.6% lower, he had more yards, more touchdowns, the same touchdown and interception rate and was more dangerous with his legs.
The worst might be Baker Mayfield at 10. I get that Mayfield is getting a lot of love because the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs last season but in no universe is Baker better than Justin Herbert, let alone a top 10 quarterback.
In fact, I ranked Baker lower than both Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins when ranking the quarterbacks the LA Chargers would face in 2021.
Matt Ryan is ninth and while he is a former MVP, he is old and started regressing last season. Matthew Stafford and Ryan Tannehill are 11th and 12th, and while I am fine with them being where they are, Herbert should be right up there with them.
At the end of the day, it does not really matter what PFF thinks of Justin Herbert as they were so wrong about him when the LA Chargers drafted him. It’ll be interesting to see what he has to do this year to be considered in their top 10.