Herbert put together an impressive senior season tallying 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions while leading the Ducks to a Pac-12 title. He capped off his collegiate career by rushing for three touchdowns in Oregon's 28–27 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
During his junior year, Herbert was projected to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft when Kyler Murray was still planning to play baseball. Even after Murray jilted the Oakland Athletics and declared for the draft, Herbert was still expected to be taken as the second QB off the board. However, he surprisingly decided to return to school for the chance to spend one more season with the Ducks, improve his draft stock and play with his brother Pat, an incoming freshman tight end.
NFL teams' interest in Herbert remained high amid the 2020 draft class loaded with top quarterbacks. Prior to the draft, many speculated whether Herbert or Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa would be picked higher. Tagovailoa was taken one spot ahead of Herbert, at No. 5 to the Miami Dolphins. Some teams saw Herbert as a safe bet over Tagovailoa, who suffered a season-ending hip injury in mid-November but complete rehab before the draft.
The Chargers went 5-11 in 2019 and must replace longtime starting quarterback Philip Rivers, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. Rivers had been the team's starter since 2006.
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