Roth: Justin Herbert Is Better Than Advertised

Yogi Roth explains why the Oregon quarterback could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft

The DA Show
August 29, 2019 - 1:18 pm

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft next season, but is he as good as advertised?

“Yeah, I think he might be better than advertised,” Pac-12 Network analyst Yogi Roth said on The DA Show. “I think a lot of the advertisement is, ‘Well, he’s not that accurate.’ You look at his completion percentage, which, to me, is just pretty amateur of a case. Then you look into it – 52 drops. He’s a dude, man. He’s got all the tools to be a potential No. 1 overall pick.”

Herbert, 21, completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,151 yards, 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season. He could have entered the NFL Draft but elected to return to Eugene.

“Think about if you were in high school and you could come back for an extra year,” Roth said. “Think about how confident you’d be. It’s the same thing in college. That’s where he’s at. I was in Eugene a few days ago, and he just has a different confidence about him.

“I think he's got all the tools,” Roth continued. “He clearly can make every throw. He’s got to improve on elements, whether it’s footwork in the pocket or reading coverage – all the stuff that every quarterback in the history of football has to go through, so he’s not perfect. His armor has chinks in it, but he’s human. I think he should thrive. I think he’s Heisman-capable. I think his schedule sets up better than Tua, better than Trevor Lawrence – better than any candidate.”

Oregon plays No. 16 Auburn this weekend, No. 25 Stanford on Sept. 21, No. 13 Washington on Oct.19, No. 23 Washington State on Oct. 26, and USC on Nov. 2.

“Once a month, this team has a national-caliber game,” Roth said. “He’ll have the stage every month to showcase his ability, and he’ll have an opportunity to get to New York. I do think he’s one of the better players in the country.”

While Herbert could be a special talent, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal would like the Ducks to run the ball more this season. Will that happen, even though Oregon has been trademarked as a high-flying attack?

“That’s what they’ve been trademarked as (if) you go back to the Chip Kelly era,” Roth said. “But they always ran the ball well. They were one of the leaders – if not the leader – in rushing in the Pac-12 for the majority of that same tenure. Obviously things have changed the last couple seasons when they’ve struggled and Mark Helfrich’s final season, and then the transition the last couple years with head coaches there. But when they were rolling, they ran the ball. 

“That’s going to be another truth for this team to have success,” Roth continued. “We all remember LaMichael James and of course Royce Freeman and Kenjon Barner – they were dudes at running back. A couple of them went to New York as a Heisman finalist, let alone what Marcus did with his legs. So I think that’s a big part of this team’s identity that you should feel in the Auburn game.”