13. Indianapolis Colts
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
In the first season since Andrew Luck shockingly retired, the Colts’ passing game averaged 194.3 yards per game, third-worst in the league, under Jacoby Brissett. Luck had them at No. 6 in the NFL the previous season, and the aerial attack flameout left the Colts at 7-9 in a division that featured two playoff teams. A change under center is likely needed. Brissett has another year on his deal, and that’ll be important. Herbert needs a little more time. The 6-6 gunslinger tested well at the combine and lit up the Senior Bowl in January, but consistency concerns haven’t gone away. He has the physical traits you want in a quarterback, including a big arm and mobility, but questions about whether he can lead an NFL offense explain why Herbert is available to the Colts at No. 13.
Most notably in his latest mock draft, McShay has Utah State quarterback Jordan Love going to the Los Angeles Chargers at #6—and firmly out of the Colts reach, while he has Indianapolis passing on the likes of Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in favor of Herbert at #13.
Herbert completed 286 of 428 passes (66.8%) for 3,471 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions in 14 starts for the Oregon Ducks in 2019.
The 6’6”, 236 pound quarterback posted a 4.68 forty time at the NFL Combine and flashed his throwing ability in drills. He has the big body, big arm, and mobility that teams covet from the quarterback position—with the ability to make plays in and out of the pocket:
Athletically, Herbert has already drawn some comparisons to Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen, and he’s one of the most athletic quarterbacks in this draft class—trailing only Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in that regard (excluding LSU’s Joe Burrow).
Where Herbert has struggled at times is in his timing and ball placement throwing, his progression through reads, and some critics have questioned his leadership style—which he answered questions about at the NFL Combine.
It’s no secret that the Colts could use an upgrade to incumbent starter Jacoby Brissett at starting quarterback—or at least some serious competition to challenge him for the job.
As a 4-year starter for the Oregon Ducks, Herbert isn’t as raw to me as Utah State’s Jordan Love, but he could still benefit from a “redshirt year” sitting behind an established NFL veteran before fully taking over the starting duties in 2021—although it’s always possible he could push for the Colts starting quarterback job much sooner.
At #13, he makes a lot of sense for the Colts, but whether he’s actually available at that spot come late April is anybody’s guess.