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Herbert is Blake Bortles, but in better shape.

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Just now, THE DUKE said:

Herbert is Blake Bortles, but in better shape.

Bortles wasn't a natural thrower of the ball, Herbert is. Herbert is closer to Blaine Gabbert if we're going off of Jaguars busts. Great natural talent that needs to be coached up if he's ever going to reach it, definitely some significant risk involved in picking him

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1 minute ago, ScoDucks823 said:

Bortles wasn't a natural thrower of the ball, Herbert is. Herbert is closer to Blaine Gabbert if we're going off of Jaguars busts. Great natural talent that needs to be coached up if he's ever going to reach it, definitely some significant risk involved in picking him

Herbert is a more athletic Ryan Tannehill. That's my final comp.

I agree with @ScoDucks823 that Herbert really has made a living off of touch passes. He's experiencing a sort of prospect fatigue, the same way Andrew Thomas is, but Herbert isn't the elite prospect that Thomas is. Herbert has really nice athleticism, a good frame, and a big arm. But he's not Eason, where he doesn't know how to use tempo with his passes. Herbert just hasn't put it all together. It's like Tannehill, where you can't really put your finger on what's holding him back from being a good starter. But they'll also both get really hot at times and be deadly.

 

Now, I actually think Eason outplayed Herbert when the two teams faced off this year, but Eason is extremely raw. He's more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point. Most pitchers have an array of pitches, where they might have any number of a 2-seam, 4-seam, curveball, screwball, breaking ball, cutter, slider, etc. A lot of your young guys in the minors, though, just throw a 2-seam or 4-seam fastball on almost every play and MIGHT mix in a curveball every once in a while. That's where Eason is at in his QB development at this point. He's got a rocket arm, but he's overconfident in it, leading to poor lower-body mechanics. Yes, the ball can get to someone from almost anywhere on the field based on his arm alone, but he doesn't follow through and throws flat-footed a lot due to his reliance on his arm. He also doesn't pass consistently to the left side of the field because he doesn't follow through properly with his footwork, so he loses his balance and passes go scattershot to that side fairly often. 

He's a whiz coming off of play action and pre-snap motion. He's very convincing with his fakes, including pump fakes and fake hand-offs, and he whips his head around quickly to read the field off of those sets. However, on normal plays, you don't see the same mental processing from him. On a psychological level, perhaps it's because he feels pressure to process quicker when he uses time early in the play to fake, but he doesn't feel the same urgency on normal plays. Or perhaps he's simply less confident without using trickery on the defense and feels TOO MUCH pressure to make the right read on true passing plays. Regardless, he locks onto receivers too often on normal passing plays and doesn't always comprehend what the defense is doing. 

Eason throws with great anticipation at times, and when he's on, his game is a thing of beauty. He is superb at picking where a receiver is going to be coming out of a break and throwing the pass to hit them just in time downfield. However, since most of his passes are thrown with more velocity than necessary, he can be scattershot in the shorter and intermediate areas of the field and his receivers have lots of drops where he just punishes his guys with the football. 

Eason has a football pedigree (his dad played WR for Notre Dame), so it's not like he hasn't gotten any training. In fact, his father has worked with him extensively over the years, even playing him at OL in his youth so that he's understand blocking assignments. He was one of the most-hyped High School Freshmen in the country, and the same applies to when he entered college at Georgia. He's had plenty of coaching but still has plenty of warts, so despite being raw, maybe his ability to absorb coaching will prevent his ceiling from being as high as we think it is. At the very least, I think he's a better version of Cardale Jones in every way and will earn a shot to start at QB, but he will need to show progression to keep me interested once he's in the league.

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2 minutes ago, HoboRocket said:

Herbert is a more athletic Ryan Tannehill. That's my final comp.

I agree with @ScoDucks823 that Herbert really has made a living off of touch passes. He's experiencing a sort of prospect fatigue, the same way Andrew Thomas is, but Herbert isn't the elite prospect that Thomas is. Herbert has really nice athleticism, a good frame, and a big arm. But he's not Eason, where he doesn't know how to use tempo with his passes. Herbert just hasn't put it all together. It's like Tannehill, where you can't really put your finger on what's holding him back from being a good starter. But they'll also both get really hot at times and be deadly.

 

Now, I actually think Eason outplayed Herbert when the two teams faced off this year, but Eason is extremely raw. He's more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point. Most pitchers have an array of pitches, where they might have any number of a 2-seam, 4-seam, curveball, screwball, breaking ball, cutter, slider, etc. A lot of your young guys in the minors, though, just throw a 2-seam or 4-seam fastball on almost every play and MIGHT mix in a curveball every once in a while. That's where Eason is at in his QB development at this point. He's got a rocket arm, but he's overconfident in it, leading to poor lower-body mechanics. Yes, the ball can get to someone from almost anywhere on the field based on his arm alone, but he doesn't follow through and throws flat-footed a lot due to his reliance on his arm. He also doesn't pass consistently to the left side of the field because he doesn't follow through properly with his footwork, so he loses his balance and passes go scattershot to that side fairly often. 

He's a whiz coming off of play action and pre-snap motion. He's very convincing with his fakes, including pump fakes and fake hand-offs, and he whips his head around quickly to read the field off of those sets. However, on normal plays, you don't see the same mental processing from him. On a psychological level, perhaps it's because he feels pressure to process quicker when he uses time early in the play to fake, but he doesn't feel the same urgency on normal plays. Or perhaps he's simply less confident without using trickery on the defense and feels TOO MUCH pressure to make the right read on true passing plays. Regardless, he locks onto receivers too often on normal passing plays and doesn't always comprehend what the defense is doing. 

Eason throws with great anticipation at times, and when he's on, his game is a thing of beauty. He is superb at picking where a receiver is going to be coming out of a break and throwing the pass to hit them just in time downfield. However, since most of his passes are thrown with more velocity than necessary, he can be scattershot in the shorter and intermediate areas of the field and his receivers have lots of drops where he just punishes his guys with the football. 

Eason has a football pedigree (his dad played WR for Notre Dame), so it's not like he hasn't gotten any training. In fact, his father has worked with him extensively over the years, even playing him at OL in his youth so that he's understand blocking assignments. He was one of the most-hyped High School Freshmen in the country, and the same applies to when he entered college at Georgia. He's had plenty of coaching but still has plenty of warts, so despite being raw, maybe his ability to absorb coaching will prevent his ceiling from being as high as we think it is. At the very least, I think he's a better version of Cardale Jones in every way and will earn a shot to start at QB, but he will need to show progression to keep me interested once he's in the league.

REALLY well said here @HoboRocket. Agree with pretty much everything you said and I think Tannehill is a great comp. For Herbert, it's gonna be all about the situation he falls into. Really like your description of Eason too. I highly recommend checking out the QB School channel on youtube for breakdowns of QB prospects. JT O'Sullivan goes in depth on one game at a time for each of the QB prospects. He did the Oregon game for Eason, and while he did point out a lot of good, he also pointed out some interesting things as far as mental processing that surprised me. Namely, how often Eason seems to miss out on easy big play opportunities but then goes for contested ones. In that game alone I think he missed 3 pretty surefire deep touchdowns in favor of checkdowns that were shut down by Oregon's defense. 

One area Herbert really improved this year was in the clutch; even against ASU he almost led them back despite it being far and away his worst game. Eason for some reason just wasn't able to pull through and seemed to crumble when it came to big moments. It does concern me that he's had so much in-depth coaching already and hasn't been able to improve in the more nuanced areas of the game. He definitely has the arm talent (can be absolutely pinpoint just not consistently), but how much room for improvement does a guy have if he's already been working with great coaches throughout his life

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12 hours ago, THE DUKE said:

Herbert is Blake Bortles, but in better shape.

I still think it's not even so much, "in better shape", as just Bortles...if he'd been a more natural thrower of the football.  Which...if Bortles had been more natural in actually throwing the football, he would've been better.  But...better enough?  Especially when Herbert doesn't seem to have quite the same natural gravity as a leader.  Does that add up to a franchise QB?  Or just a slightly deeper version of QB purgatory?

 

12 hours ago, HoboRocket said:

Eason is extremely raw. He's more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point.

Eason has a football pedigree (his dad played WR for Notre Dame), so it's not like he hasn't gotten any training. In fact, his father has worked with him extensively over the years, even playing him at OL in his youth so that he's understand blocking assignments. He was one of the most-hyped High School Freshmen in the country, and the same applies to when he entered college at Georgia. He's had plenty of coaching but still has plenty of warts, so despite being raw, maybe his ability to absorb coaching will prevent his ceiling from being as high as we think it is. At the very least, I think he's a better version of Cardale Jones in every way and will earn a shot to start at QB, but he will need to show progression to keep me interested once he's in the league.

I think this is a really well presented breakdown on these two QBs.

The thing with Eason, and i agree on most of that assessment...is that despite having had access to some high end coaching, he's taken a pretty circuitous route to the draft.  Byproduct of that, is that we're fundamentally talking about about a 2 year starter.  The playing time and experience just hasn't been there.  Makes it really complicated, when you're talking about him jumping to the NFL...where obvious instinct is to let him sit and develop more.  But more bench time and practice isn't what he needs.  He needs game reps and experience.  It's going to be really important that he lands in the right situation.  He's a really unusual sort of project in the path he's taken to here.  I think that's where the ceiling still is that high...but the floor is also extremely low.

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I've been taking a closer look at that Klassen spreadsheet that was posted here the other day. That thing is a gold mine of situational variance.

In checking that spreadsheet today the most interesting thing I noticed was the obvious Joe Brady influence on LSU's offense, moving it much closer to current NFL tendencies. The NFL now throws roughly 55% of passes to wide receivers lined up inside in slot positions. That percentage has steadily ticked upward, once teams noticed the superior efficiency to inside receivers as opposed to more traditional outside targets, or running backs, or tight ends. Colleges have really lagged in this regard. Most are still in the 40% range from what I've seen in recent years. 

Burrow last season at LSU was all the way up to nearly 48%. That is superior strategy courtesy of Brady's designs and also Brady undoubtedly emphasizing to Burrow where to look. Anthony Gordon was next at 45% then Tua at 44% and Herbert at 43%.

Not surprisingly, Jordan Love was the only one of these quarterbacks who targeted the outside wide receivers (42.31%) more than the slot receivers (38.76%). That is a screwed up tendency. Burrow, in contrast, threw it 18% more frequently to slot receivers (47.79%) than to outside guys (29.34%).

Jordan Love was hampered by all the offensive staff and personnel changes and new coaches who obviously had no clue what they were doing. Otherwise there's no chance they would have him forcing it to outside receivers more than 42% of the time. Of course, it could be Love's long term instincts and small school background with nobody ever bothering to tell him the easier pickings are inside. During that LSU/Utah State game last season I imagine Brady was chuckling at the difference between his designs and what Love was forced to deal with. Love seemingly can move forward in a hurry once he's told what to look for, kind of like a golfer whose alignment is all messed up. 

Overall these guys have too much parity between inside receivers and outside types. The only ones in this crop who threw it often to the tight end are Jacob Eason (14%) and Nate Stanley (11%).

The numbers I am referring to are scrolled right at the "Target Area Rate" tab:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IYhThi_2d1FJYev9ghz53S7yfP2BIj9VCW9A165C1RU/edit#gid=725962557

 

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On 4/2/2020 at 3:12 PM, HoboRocket said:

But he's not Eason, where he doesn't know how to use tempo with his passes.

I know your convinced of this but I really think it's a false narrative. Eason throws every kind of pass inside of different situations.

I agree on the overall inconsistency.

Herbert I think, has a problem with pace. He lacks urgency on his reads, pocket presence, mechanics. I think he's a lot like Mariota really.

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1 hour ago, BrownLeader said:

I know your convinced of this but I really think it's a false narrative. Eason throws every kind of pass inside of different situations.

I agree on the overall inconsistency.

Herbert I think, has a problem with pace. He lacks urgency on his reads, pocket presence, mechanics. I think he's a lot like Mariota really.

I addressed that. He can and will make every throw in the book. He can throw some of the best touch throws in this class. My thing is that he situationally hasn't mastered WHEN to do it. His cast at Washington was beaten up a lot because of it. Still, you'll rarely find an inaccurate pass and he can fit the ball into a five gallon bucket 20 yards downfield. That's a rare trait. It would be disingenuous of me to omit the fact that he shares a remarkable number of similarities to Carson Palmer as a prospect, and he could certainly be a Palmer-type QB in the NFL. As of right now, though, he needs a LOT of seasoning, and hopefully his issues aren't ingrained at this point, considering his extensive elite coaching for 12 years or so. Rich man's Cardale Jones right now. Love the ceiling, hate the floor, will end up being a borderline first-round prospect with how QBs are valued.

Mariota is also a good comp for Herbert. Ultimately, I'll stick to a more-athletic Ryan Tannehill, but all three of Mariota, Tannehill, and Derek Carr GENERALLY won't lose you football games and are capable of getting hot and playing stretches of elite football at any time. All three have plus athleticism, but I think Herbert has an even higher athletic ceiling than them. I do see potential for injury with Herbert, much like Mariota or Tannehill, because of Herbert's frame AT THE MOMENT and how he lets himself take bad hits at times. He needs to build up his weight a bit, but he could also be like Goff where despite the frame (which is nowhere near as lanky as Goff), he doesn't get hurt. Anyways, Herbert is still a valuable commodity if he can play like those three, so I'd still understand a team taking him in round 1. 

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32 minutes ago, HoboRocket said:

I addressed that. He can and will make every throw in the book. He can throw some of the best touch throws in this class. My thing is that he situationally hasn't mastered WHEN to do it. His cast at Washington was beaten up a lot because of it. Still, you'll rarely find an inaccurate pass and he can fit the ball into a five gallon bucket 20 yards downfield. That's a rare trait. It would be disingenuous of me to omit the fact that he shares a remarkable number of similarities to Carson Palmer as a prospect, and he could certainly be a Palmer-type QB in the NFL. As of right now, though, he needs a LOT of seasoning, and hopefully his issues aren't ingrained at this point, considering his extensive elite coaching for 12 years or so. Rich man's Cardale Jones right now. Love the ceiling, hate the floor, will end up being a borderline first-round prospect with how QBs are valued.

Mariota is also a good comp for Herbert. Ultimately, I'll stick to a more-athletic Ryan Tannehill, but all three of Mariota, Tannehill, and Derek Carr GENERALLY won't lose you football games and are capable of getting hot and playing stretches of elite football at any time. All three have plus athleticism, but I think Herbert has an even higher athletic ceiling than them. I do see potential for injury with Herbert, much like Mariota or Tannehill, because of Herbert's frame AT THE MOMENT and how he lets himself take bad hits at times. He needs to build up his weight a bit, but he could also be like Goff where despite the frame (which is nowhere near as lanky as Goff), he doesn't get hurt. Anyways, Herbert is still a valuable commodity if he can play like those three, so I'd still understand a team taking him in round 1. 

Herbert has a higher athletic ceiling than Mariota and Tannehill? No way, Jose.

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Herbert has a better arm than Mariota and is bigger but he's not the athlete that Mariota was. Honestly, Herbert has been extremely frustrating. He has EVERYTHING you want in a QB physically, and he's really book smart, GREAT guy, he loves to compete, but something is off. I haven't been able to figure it out yet but it hasn't clicked yet. If everything clicks, as it did with Josh Allen, he's got immense potential.

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6 hours ago, jrry32 said:

Herbert has a higher athletic ceiling than Mariota and Tannehill? No way, Jose.

Sorry, when I said athlete, I was just talking about his physical traits. He can't move the same way Mariota did, but he's still has a very good set of raw tools when it comes to mobility and he has a better arm than either of those two. Wrong choice of word by saying athlete, but not really sure which word to use. O was kind of saying that Herbert, as far as physical traits go, has a higher ceiling because his traits are above the threshold where, theoretically, he could be a true dual threat QB, but he also has a much greater passing range with the football. And if you want to argue against that, go back and rewatch the tape. This guy can throw a football 60+ yards flat-footed. Most guys need a running start to get the ball that far. Lower body + upper body = athlete to me. 

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6 hours ago, Oregon Ducks said:

Herbert has a better arm than Mariota and is bigger but he's not the athlete that Mariota was. Honestly, Herbert has been extremely frustrating. He has EVERYTHING you want in a QB physically, and he's really book smart, GREAT guy, he loves to compete, but something is off. I haven't been able to figure it out yet but it hasn't clicked yet. If everything clicks, as it did with Josh Allen, he's got immense potential.

See, Josh Allen already kind of had it click at Wyoming. He just has struggled with consistency in his delivery. But he was already the hardest-working QB in the nation the day he stepped onto the field as a Cowboy. I think the question with Herbert is if he has the level of dedication required to thrive at the next level. It's been reported that scouts love who he is, but question his love of football. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a Josh Rosen or Jay Cutler situation, but they question if he has enough passion for the game to ever truly be great. Like I said. There's just something off with Herbert. That's what makes him so much like Carr, Mariota, and Tannehill. It took four years, but people were finally able to figure out that Carr goes to the checkdown too often, playing with more of a mentality of "no negative yards, no turnovers" than a mentality of "get first downs, get touchdowns." Mariota doesn't trust his arm anymore, which honestly I kind of understand, considering the nature of the injuries he had there. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it was scary. He didn't have feeling in his right hand at times during his third and fourth season. Had nerve injuries and damage to his elbow.

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BTW, I forgot to mention that Football Outsiders is the source of the 55% number for the NFL. They have only been breaking it down for a few years. It was immediately interesting to me because I had no idea the number was that high. You can see why the TV analysts have a simple advantage merely by guessing the ball will go to a slot guy. More than 50% of the time that will be correct. 

Football Outsiders has not done the 2019 breakdown yet. Here is the related article from the 2018 season:

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2019/2018-slot-vs-wide-wide-receivers

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On 4/2/2020 at 12:12 PM, HoboRocket said:

Herbert is a more athletic Ryan Tannehill. That's my final comp.

A more athletic Tannehill? No way. Tannehill was a legit WR before he made the transition to QB at A&M.

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8 minutes ago, NYRaider said:

A more athletic Tannehill? No way. Tannehill was a legit WR before he made the transition to QB at A&M.

define legit.

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