Justin Herbert Willing to Sit for Chargers, but 'I Want to Be the Guy'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 24, 2020

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Justin Herbert understands the situation he's coming into with the Los Angeles Chargers but is hoping to be their starting quarterback when the 2020 season begins.

Speaking to reporters after being selected No. 6 overall Thursday, Herbert explained that he's willing to learn behind Tyrod Taylor as a rookie even though he would prefer to see action in games.

"They asked me how I felt about it, and I said I'm going to do everything I can to be the best quarterback I can be," he said. "If I'm the guy, that's great. I love playing football, and I want to be the guy. But if I have to sit back and learn, I'm going to do everything I can to be the quarterback I need to be."

It had been speculated leading up to the draft that the Chargers would use their first pick to find a long-term answer at quarterback.

Once the Miami Dolphins took Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick, Herbert became a natural fit for Los Angeles. It's unclear at this point whether head coach Anthony Lynn will go with a rookie as his starting quarterback to open the year.

Lynn told reporters earlier in April that Tyrod Taylor is "in the driver's seat" to be the starter, but he added "no position is final until we get to training camp right now."

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Taylor was used as a stopgap quarterback during the 2018 season, when he started the first three games for the Cleveland Browns before Baker Mayfield took over.

Herbert is joining the Chargers coming off a successful run as Oregon's starting quarterback. The 22-year-old threw for a career-high 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns to help the Ducks win the Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl in 2019.