The Los Angeles Chargers have been one of the pleasant surprises in the 2021 NFL season, thanks mainly to young quarterback Justin Herbert. The former Oregon Ducks star has put the league on notice in just a year-plus and has his eyes set on more as the Bolts are one of the top teams in the AFC through the early chunk of the schedule.
Herbert and the Chargers have knocked off the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in back-to-back weeks and sit atop the division for the time being. Herbert, to be honest, has been nothing short of sensational after being thrown into action during the 2020 campaign due to a freak injury to Tyrod Taylor.
Well, Herbert earned some massive praise and compliments from both Rex Ryan and Jimmy Johnson during Sunday’s pregame festivities, and it is hard to argue with their statements.
Jimmy Johnson wants Justin Herbert over everyone else
On Sunday, former NFL head coach Jimmy Johnson had some bold praise about Herbert on the NFL Fox pregame show. Yes, Johnson said that he would take Herbert over every player in the NFL in a hypothetical draft situation.
That is a massive compliment for the young quarterback out of Oregon. Remember, Patrick Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in the league and the next Tom Brady whenever #12 decides to call it a career.
Nonetheless, Johnson pegs Herbert as the guy. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year was wildly overlooked heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins are one team that might regret passing on him after they selected Tua Tagovailoa one pick before the Chargers submitting the card for Herbert.
Michael Strahan also echoed the praise from Johnson in the same clip, and what’s even more remarkable is the fact that Herbert has yet to play two full seasons in his NFL career.
Rex Ryan doubles down on the hype
On the same day, former NFL head coach Rex Ryan also hopped on the Herbert bandwagon on ESPN’s NFL Countdown.
“One quarterback’s feeling dangerous; one guy actually is dangerous, and to me, that Justin Herbert’s playing phenomenal. If he ain’t in the top two or three quarterbacks in the National Football League, I mean, I think he is. If I’m drafting right now, I’m drafting that kid in the top three quarterbacks.”Rex Ryan on Justin Herbert
The praise just kept pouring in for Herbert, who set another NFL record after the victory against the Raiders on Monday Night Football propelled them to the top of the division.
That wasn’t all, either, as Phil Simms jumped in and spoke highly of Herbert.
Yes, the 22-year-old Oregon native has everybody on notice and should continue to do things as long as he is out there on the field. Moreover, the hiring of Brandon Staley as head coach and Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator should do nothing but help Herbert thrive in a new offensive scheme.
Herbert over Patrick Mahomes is bold
Mahomes has led the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and has a lot of people believing that they could make it three straight. The Texas Tech product dazzles every week and will be one of the best– if not the best– in the league for the next decade.
On the other hand, Herbert is just barely in his second season in the NFL and has many weapons, with Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams propelling the offense in LA. At the rate Herbert is going, he could end up being side by side with Mahomes for a long time.
But Mahomes is the best quarterback in the AFC and might not be too thrilled with all the buzz Herbert is receiving. All eyes will be on the Chargers signal-caller, even more after he puts up impressive performances time and time again against the top teams in the NFL.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference