Former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert walked away as one of Thursday's winners at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. The 21-year-old impressed scouts with his arm and speed while going through drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa have staked their claims as the top two quarterbacks in the draft, Herbert has a strong case at No. 3 and may even have some teams looking at him ahead of the Alabama product if he continues to show out.
Here's how Herbert measured up in Indy:
Weight: 236 lbs
Arm length: 32 7/8"
40-Yard Dash: 4.68 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.5''
Broad Jump: 123''
Three-cone drill: 7.06 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds
Herbert's body of work at Oregon is well-known. Throwing for more than 3,100 yards in each of his final two seasons, he finished his career with 10,541 passing yards, 95 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, a quarterback rating of 153.1 and a Rose Bowl victory in 2020.
Even still, scouts came away with a new appreciation for the former Duck after his throwing session Thursday.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compared Herbert to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and noted his arm strength will be a problem for NFL defenses on long throws.
His performance Thursday seemed to back up that assessment. On both slant routes and deep balls, he wowed those in attendance, which may impact his draft stock rather quickly.
"Herbert has a high ceiling and is the most physically gifted quarterback in the draft, but he doesn't have as many 'wow' plays as expected for someone with his traits, experience and potential," Zierlein wrote.
ESPN's Mel Kiper seems to agree there (h/t 247Sports' Kevin Wade). The NFL draft analyst believes the superior surrounding talent in the NFL will help Herbert take full advantage of his skill set.
Kiper has Herbert coming off the board as the No. 3 quarterback in the draft. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller concurs, placing only Burrow and Tagovailoa ahead of Herbert in his pre-combine rankings.
Neither Burrow nor Tagovailoa is throwing at the combine. Herbert's showing on Thursday may give him a recency-bias boost heading into the draft. In any case, he can sleep well knowing he made a strong case as a first-round pick with two months to go before the draft.