2020 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers Land Justin Herbert with Top Pick
Jason B. Hirschhorn
Though nearly two full weeks remain before the kickoff of Super Bowl LIV, 30 of the NFL's 32 teams have already turned their attention to 2020 NFL Draft. In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated's mock draft, the Los Angeles Chargers landed their quarterback of the future: Oregon's Justin Herbert.
Mock draft curator Kevin Hanson explains the selection:
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Slated to become a free agent in March, it's possible that Philip Rivers has thrown his last pass as a Charger. Even if he returns, the Chargers will look to find a long-term replacement for the declining 16-year veteran. While the consistency isn't there for Herbert, who has started the past four seasons for the Ducks, he has all of the tools -- prototypical frame, arm strength, mobility, and intelligence -- to entice a team to take a chance on him in the top 10.
The future at quarterback remains clouded for the Chargers. Longtime starter Philip Rivers will become an unrestricted free agent in March and, earlier this month, moved his immediate family from their home in San Diego to a permanent location in Florida closer to family. While the relocation doesn't preclude Rivers from re-signing with Los Angeles this offseason, it certainly raises the specter that he will move on from the only NFL franchise he has ever known.
Of course, Rivers returning wouldn't prevent the Chargers from securing their future at the position. Herbert offers premier size and athleticism for a quarterback and could develop behind Rivers or another established starter. The team also has veteran Tyrod Taylor under contract for 2020 and could enter the free-agent market for another signal-caller. That market looks to include Tom Brady, who will hit the open market later this year for the first time in his career.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH