Justin Herbert is among the best of the best at his position group.
That's the view around the NFL, as the Chargers quarterback recently made the top tier in The Athletic's annual look at the signal callers around the league.
Herbert was in the fifth spot on the list, which is compiled annually by Mike Sando, with an overall score of 1.28. (Players get a point for each tier they are placed in by league-wide evaluators, with one being the lowest and best).
Sando noted the list was generated was canvassing with 50 NFL coaches and executives, a group that included six general managers and eight head coaches. Scouts, coordinators and other coaches/front office personnel made up the remainder of the group.
And Herbert, the Bolts young star at quarterback, certainly drew plenty of praise from that group.
Herbert joins a short list of quarterbacks to reach Tier 1 before age 25. Mahomes, Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson did it after leading their teams to the postseason and winning there. Herbert pulled it off with a career 15-17 record as a starter and no postseason appearances.
"Man, I was so impressed with him live," an offensive coach said. "He has a chance to do something special. He's the best pure thrower of the three young guys (Herbert, [Josh] Allen, [Joe] Burrow). I didn't realize he was that athletic. One of our studs was chasing him down and he got around him and was laughing at him the whole time. The competitive spirit, the athletic ability, I saw a fricking stud in our game."
Combine some of Burrow's accuracy with some of Allen's size/athleticism and you've got Herbert.
"I think he's the next guy, he is on his way, because the thing with him is, he's not quite the passer, but he's kind of like a bigger version of Aaron Rodgers," another voter said. "When we played them, I was like, 'Damn, I didn't know this dude could move that well or he was this accurate.' Five, six, seven years down the road, I think [Patrick] Mahomes, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert will be the guys we're talking about, the big three."
Of the 50 voters, 36 of them put Herbert in Tier 1. One that didn't said they would likely do so soon.
No voter questioned whether Herbert could become a top-tier quarterback. Some did want to see him drive more team success before letting him borrow Dan Fouts' gold jacket.
"It takes more time on task to truly be a top-tier guy," a defensive coach said.
Take a look at some of the best shots of Justin Herbert's 2022 offseason
Herbert was the fifth (and youngest) quarterback listed, behind Aaron Rodgers (1.00 rating), Patrick Mahomes (1.02), Tom Brady (1.16) and Josh Allen (1.22).
The 24-year-old Herbert was the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year and made his first Pro Bowl in 2021.
He's thrown for more touchdowns (69) and yards (9,350) than any quarterback with at least 600 pass attempts in a player's first two seasons in the league.
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