The one hope that fans of the New York Giants are holding in what looks for all the world like yet another lost season, is that they could get an heir to Eli Manning out of it.
Now, Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports is reporting that Oregon’s Justin Herbert is expected to bypass the 2019 NFL draft and return to school for the 2019 season.
“Several scouts from NFL teams who have held informal discussions with friends and contacts on the Oregon staff said they would be very surprised if the quarterback opted to turn pro this spring.
Furthermore, there are strong signals throughout the agent community that Herbert is going to stay in school. Several of the top agencies generally in line to represent such talents are becoming pessimistic about him entering the draft.”
So far, Herbert has played his way to the top of the 2019 quarterback chart, and is in line to potentially be the top pick in the draft. After the Giants passed on a quarterback to select Saquon Barkley, many Giants fans hoped that the team would be able to use their (likely) high 2019 draft pick on Herbert and secure a likely successor to Eli Manning.
Coaches around the Pac-12 respect Herbert. Speaking with Yahoo Sports, One defensive coordinator, speaking with Yahoo Sports, compared him to Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold, and says that he is that caliber of prospect, if not better.
“There’s a snap to the ball when it comes off his hand,” the coach told Yahoo Sports. “We played against Rosen and Darnold. In my mind, he’s more of a threat to a defense. He’s got more of that NFL-looking stature. He can sit in the pocket and has the big arm and is really, really accurate.”
In the same report, former Oregon DC Nick Aliota told Yahoo Sports that Herbert reminds him of Andrew Luck.
“I would take him No. 1, I think he can do it all,” he told Thamel. “The last guy I can remember who gave me that feeling? [Andrew] Luck was one of them. [John] Elway is a guy who really stood out. They could throw the bullets across the field and make throws on the line.”
In a vacuum, I actually like hearing this. One of my main draft philosophies is that quarterbacks should take every second of college eligibility they have. While there is the business side of things, where they could wind up losing money by not capitalizing on a strong season, I believe they have much more to gain as a player. They will come in to the NFL with that much more experience having seen more games, teams, schemes, and players. Also, there is the simple fact that the human brain doesn’t finish maturing until sometime in the early 20s, and a senior or red-shirt senior QB will likely be more mature upon entering the league. In many ways, it behooves a quarterback — and his NFL team — to come out later rather than sooner.
It was one of the (many) things I liked about Baker Mayfield, and going back a bit, Russell Wilson.
More subjectively, it does throw a monkey wrench into our speculation on the Giants’ draft plans. If Herbert goes back to school, along with Nick Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa becoming draft eligible, it likely makes the 2020 draft class an amazing one. However, the 2019 class is significantly weakened. There are players at other positions, such as Nick Bosa (who withdrew from Ohio State to focus on rehabbing his core injury and preparing for the draft), or Alabama left tackle Jonah Williams who could be significant, and immediate, boosts to the Giants roster.
However, fans might have to wait for the team to spend a high draft pick on a quarterback.