Justin Herbert is no stranger to high expectations. The Oregon Ducks signal caller ran the gamut of praise, criticism, and anticipation last year as he moved up and down first-round Mock Drafts before deciding to return to Eugene for his senior year.
Now a senior, the pressure gets ratcheted to another level. Many expect Herbert to once again be a top passer in the country, and NFL scouts and front offices are keeping a close eye on him daily as next year’s draft approaches.
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated released his early 2020 NFL Mock Draft, and Ducks fans will be excited. With a large group of solid quarterbacks in the 2020 draft class, including Alabama sensation Tua Tagovailoa, Herbert gets Staples pick as the number-one draftee to the Miami Dolphins. Team draft order was determined by reverse Super Bowl odds according to Bet Online.
According to Staples, the Dolphins will take Herbert with the top pick in the NFL Draft next April:
“The more NFL people I talk to about Herbert, the more smitten the league seems with him. Physically, his combination of size, arm strength and athleticism is rare. At this point, the big question is how the Eugene native will adapt to leaving his hometown. Some teams will like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa more. But Herbert seems very worthy of the first pick and might’ve been the first quarterback taken in 2018 (if he’d come out, and a team not led by Kliff Kingsbury had the first pick.)”
Staples says Herbert’s physical measurables gives him an edge over the 6’1″ Tagovailoa. Staples has Tua going No.2 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pac-12 sensational wide receiver Laviska Shenault from Colorado is the No.9 mock selection to the New York Giants. Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little was just on the outside of Staples’ Top-10 mock draft selections.
If Herbert indeed went No.1 to the Miami Dolphins, as Staples’ mock draft predicts, he would join a quarterback room that already includes former UCLA star Josh Rosen and journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. Miami hired a new head coach in the off-season in former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who took with him former Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea to become Miami’s offensive coordinator.
It would be a thrill for Herbert to go number-one overall in the NFL Draft, to be sure. Only one other Duck has gone first overall in the NFL Draft, and that was George Shaw in 1955 who went to the Baltimore Colts. Would the Miami Dolphins be a good hypothetical fit?