In a surprising turn of events, Oregon Quarterback Justin Herbert has announced that he will return to school for his senior year, passing up on the NFL draft in the process.
By most accounts, Herbert was considered one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in this upcoming draft. In fact, before the Giants gave up on tanking, he was even projected by many to be a top three pick for the boys in blue.
This is huge in two different ways; Oregon will be returning one of the best QB’s in the country to go along with a young and upcoming team, and the NFL draft just got significantly shaken up.
Let’s start with Oregon in 2019.
Oregon football was…okay in 2018. They started the season 5-1 and got as high as #12 in the AP Top 25 rankings after beating #7 Washington. From there they lost three out of four games and ended the season with an underwhelming 8-4 record. Still, it was a solid season for first year head coach Mario Cristobal.
Where things get interesting is that the Ducks currently have the #6 recruiting class in the country and have the #1 recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux. When you add the young crop of players coming in next season with the returning group of players from this past season AND a returning Justin Herbert, the Ducks are in prime position to run through the PAC 12 and maybe be a top 10 team by seasons end next year.
Where things really get wacky is when you start looking towards the NFL draft.
Herbert was, by most accounts, the consensus #1 QB in the draft. The Jaguars and Giants were both linked to the 6’6 QB but with his name being taken off the board, those two teams will have to turn to the next best thing. And, depending on who you talk to, it’s wither Dwayne Haskins or Will Grier.
Haskins only started one season for the Ohio State Buckeyes but hot damn did he leave a mark. Haskins lead the nation in passing yards (4580 yards) and touchdowns (47 TD’s), finished third in the Heisman voting, and was a huge contributor to the Buckeyes winning the Big 10 championship, a game he threw for 499 yards with 5 touchdowns.
Will Grier has been under center at West Virginia for the last two seasons and was responsible for the Mountaineers national resurgence. Grier threw for 3,490 yards his junior year, and 3,864 yards this past season. Grier has had the distinction of being an “NFL ready QB” for the better part of two years now. His defining game from this year was his 539 yard, 4 TD performance in a losing effort to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship.
Who’s the better prospect? I can’t say. But what’s for certain is that both men will definitely hear their names called in the draft, and they might both go in the top 10.
Photo by the Associated Press