football Edit

Ask Farrell: Which QB has inside track on being picked first in draft?

Oregon's Justin Herbert
Oregon's Justin Herbert (AP)

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With the start of the college football season only days away, the analyses about which quarterbacks should go first in next year’s NFL Draft also kicks into high gear.

This week, Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm talked to some NFL scouts about which college quarterbacks are highest on their radar, and Oregon’s Justin Herbert edged out Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whom many regard as the possible No. 1 pick after this season.

Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Utah State’s Jordan Love and Stanford’s K.J. Costello were also discussed in the article.

According to Edholm, scouts said Herbert has shown the highest potential of the quarterback group and that his size does matter, even in a league that just drafted undersized Oklahoma QBs Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as back-to-back No. 1 picks.

There is a lot of love for Tagovailoa, especially after he threw for nearly 4,000 yards last season with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions, but there are some questions as well about his height, some injury issues and one scout questioned whether he had a strong enough arm or could make tough throws under duress.

Herbert and Tagovailoa appear destined to be the products of a season-long debate over which quarterback will be drafted first in next April’s NFL Draft. Both have incredible qualities and there was some talk that Herbert could have been taken first if he came out after this past season.

It’s also important to know that at this point last summer, there was not much talk at all about Murray being a possible No. 1 overall pick (especially as he looked prepared for a future in pro baseball) and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins had not even started a game, so things could change dramatically in the coming months.


We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell whether he would pick Herbert or Tagovailoa first, or if there is another quarterback on his radar that could be the first one taken in the NFL Draft?

“I like Herbert a bit better for a few reasons. Everyone knows I’m not big on lefty quarterbacks, but Tua has impressed me greatly and has excellent touch on the football and good accuracy. However, Herbert is bigger and stronger and has better arm talent overall. He’s also working with less at Oregon and the Alabama wide receivers really make Tua look good. Tagovailoa is likely a first-rounder, but I can’t see him as the first overall pick. However there was no way I saw Mayfield or Murray as No. 1 overall picks, either, so what do I know?”