LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Chargers found what they hope is their next franchise quarterback Thursday night when they selected Justin Herbert out of Oregon with the 6th overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Just months after agreeing to part ways with long-time starter Philip Rivers, the Chargers have selected a quarterback they hope will also spend 16 years as the team’s starter.
Herbert started parts of his first two seasons in Eugene, taking the reigns full-time as a sophomore in 2017 but he missed five games due to injury. In 2018 and 2019, he made every start for the team at quarterback.
The 6’6″ 236 pound Oregon native finished his Ducks career second on the school passing leaderboards behind only former #2 overall pick Marcus Mariota. While not nearly the same runner that Mariota is, Herbert has also shown plenty of ability as a ball carrier totaling 560 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in his career.
The 22-year-old impressed at the Combine, posting a 4.68 40-yard dash time along with a 35-inch vertical and 123-inch broad jump. In his four-year career with the Ducks, Herbert was a three-time Academic All American. Coming out of high school he was just a three-star recruit, but he worked his way up the depth chart to become the Ducks starter late in his freshman year.
Herbert is just the second quarterback the Chargers have selected in the first round in franchise history behind Eli Manning, who was then traded to the New York Giants in exchange for Philip Rivers and multiple other picks.