Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, it seemed like there were two quarterbacks worth talking about.
LSU’s Joe Burrow had just finished one of the best seasons in college football history, leading the Tigers to the national championship with a historic campaign.
He threw for a mind-boggling 60 touchdowns in 15 games, with only six interceptions.
He was also pushing the ball down the field, as his 12.5 yards per attempt metric would attest.
The other apple of everyone’s eye in that draft class was Tua Tagovailoa.
He had a sparkling college career at the University of Alabama, including a relief performance as a freshman in the 2018 title game that started the legend.
It’s still very early on in both players’ NFL careers, but as things currently stand, the best prospect under center in that draft class appears to be Justin Herbert.
Herbert didn’t get the same type of fanfare as Tagovailoa or Burrow playing at the University of Oregon, but his size and mobility made him an intriguing player.
If his rookie year with the Los Angeles Chargers was any indication, Herbert could be better than his more significantly hyped 2020 classmates.
With hindsight being 20/20, let’s take a look at two teams who should have drafted Herbert before he landed with the Chargers with the number six pick.
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2021
2. Detroit Lions
As we head into the 2021 NFL season, few teams have embraced the rebuild more than the Detroit Lions.
In February, they parted ways with longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford, trading him to the Los Angeles Rams.
Even though they received highly compensated signal-caller Jared Goff in the return package for that deal, there’s no question that the Lions are looking to play for the future.
The fact of the matter is that Detroit has not been in a position to contend for at least a few years (some might argue a few decades), and pressing the reset button a year earlier than they did wouldn’t have thrown the fan base into an angry frenzy.
They certainly could’ve shipped Stafford to another team before the 2020 season, paving the way for a promising rookie.
It’s unclear if they would’ve gone with Tagovailoa over Herbert, but by this point, at least the franchise would’ve felt like they were heading in a better direction.
The current state of affairs has the Lions looking ahead with a stopgap option at best in Goff.
This is the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
This is Justin Herbert. pic.twitter.com/9NggW6ltnv
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) February 7, 2021
1. New York Giants
It would have taken an ultra aggressive approach for New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman to move on from Daniel Jones a year after drafting him.
Not only that, using the fourth overall pick in the 2020 Draft to invest in a position other than offensive line would’ve frankly been, offensive to Giants fans.
However, knowing what we know now about Herbert’s sky high potential, and Jones’ still uncertain repertoire, a case can certainly be made that New York should have pulled the plug immediately on Danny Dimes.
We don’t see teams invest top ten picks in back to back drafts on quarterbacks (like the Arizona Cardinals did in 2018 and 2019), but looking back, it might not have been a bad idea.
Jones has improved in the turnover department from year one to year two, but doesn’t look like the type of player that can carry a team.
Herbert, on the other hand, does look like he can be that type of guy after one year in the league.NEXT: Le'Veon Bell Finds A New Home With The Ravens