One Key Stat Could Hurt Justin Herbert’s NFL Draft Stock

Max Staley
Justin Herbert is a solid prospect, but he's not without his red flags.
Justin Herbert is a solid prospect, but he's not without his red flags. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

There's a lot to like about Justin Herbert's game. He's got prototypical size, a rocket arm and he's a great athlete to boot. As a four-year starter at Oregon, Herbert racked up 10,541 passing yards and threw 95 touchdowns to 23 interceptions, leading the team to a 29-14 record.

He never did quite reach the highs that many hoped he would, though. While there are plenty of reasons for that, there's one stat that could cause some real concern about his NFL future. When targeting an open receiver who was at least 5-18 yards downfield, Herbert was inaccurate on 18.1 precent of his throws last season.

Frankly, that's an alarming figure. Accuracy is far more important at the next level, as there are far more wide-open receivers in college than in the pros. If Herbert is off-target on these wide-open passes, it's fair to wonder whether or not his ball placement will be up to NFL standards.

For context, not only is that the worst mark, by far, among the top-5 passers in the 2020 NFL Draft class, it's also the worst mark of the top-5 passers from each of the last three draft classes.

Herbert was even far more inaccurate than Buffalo Bills' QB Josh Allen, who has notoriously struggled with ball placement in both college and the pros. Of course, this also hurts Jordan Love, who had the second-worst such mark over the last three years.

While this stat is unlikely to sink Herbert's stock too much, it could cause scouts to think twice about using a top-10 selection on the Oregon product.

Get $5 FREE when you sign up for FanDuel Racing, plus we’ll match your first deposit in site credit up to $50!

Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.