Whats the early verdict on Burrow vs Herbert? Dynastyboyd takes a look at the two prolific rookies. Read on to find out.
Do you choose player A or Player B?
Player A has 4 games of 300+ passing yards so far in his rookie season. He is averaging 269.5 passing yards per game, 1 touchdown and 0.667 interceptions per game. On the ground player A is adding 14.5 yards per game and 0.33 rushing touchdowns per game. He is the QB25 in PPG in 2020.
Player B is averaging 298.75 passing yards per game 1.5 touchdowns and 0.75 interceptions per game during his rookie year. On the ground player B is adding 13.75 rushing yards per game and 0.25 rushing touchdowns per game. He is the QB8 in PPG in 2020.
Numbers say Player B
Based purely on the numbers everyone would choose player B over player A. Player B is Justin Herbert, player A is Joe Burrow. Burrow was the consensus #1 QB off the board in 2020 rookie drafts, with an ADP of 10.3 in 1 QB leagues. Justin Herbert was commonly the #3 QB off the board and, in some rare instances, even the 5th behind Jalen Hurts and Jordan Love. Herbert’s ADP was 19.2.
Knowing what we know now though, which of the two would you choose? Both have flashed, both are their respective franchise futures. The data would suggest Herbert although the sample size is small. What would your head say though?
Would it just be pride of draft capital stopping Burrow owners from moving him 1 for 1 for Herbert? Would Herbert owners accept Burrow 1 for 1? Search through twitter and you’ll find a mixed response, straight down the middle, a nearly 50/50 on personal preference on Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert.
— Balls In The Gutter Podcast (@BallsNTheGutter) October 13, 2020
Justin Herbert > Joe Burrow
That’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/4ISnhLajyq
— Kenny Exotic 🦆🌹 (@KennyKoz19) October 13, 2020
Burrow has shown he belongs in the NFL. Like all rookie quarterbacks he has had his moments of questionable throws and rushes of blood to the head. Overall though, he has looked poised under pressure, and there has been a lot of that.
Of concern is the sack rate, he has been sacked a league high 24 times. The Bengals O-line is ranked 26th for run blocking (based on adjusted line yards) and dead last at 32nd in pass protection (using adjusted sack rate).
A.J. Green, 2nd all-time in receiving yards for the Bengals, is now 32 and has been disappointing in 2020. The former Georgia Bulldog is playing under the franchise tag and currently not under contract after this season.
Tee Higgins is a star in the making and a red zone threat who has shown immediate worth in 2020. The No.33 overall pick in the 2020 draft has 3.5 years remaining on his rookie contract.
Tyler Boyd has been on an upward trajectory since his disappointing sophomore season, posting back to back 1,000-yard campaigns in 2018 and 2019. He has some of the best hands in the NFL and has already built a solid rapport with Burrow. Boyd is in the first year of his 4-year $43 million dollar contract. The Bengals have a potential out after this season in his contract, I can safely say the Bengals will not take up that option and he will not be a UFA until 2024.
In Joe Mixon, the Bengals have one of the most talented RBs in the league who recently signed a 4-year, $48 million dollar contract. The thing letting down Mixon and Burrow is again the Bengal’s O-line.
Every morning I wake up and pray for Joe Burrow. pic.twitter.com/KyWhtUAUyY
— Kevin Patra (@kpatra) October 14, 2020
— NFL (@NFL) October 18, 2020
The No. 1 overall pick came to play.@JoeyB's best plays of the season so far!
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2020
Herbert and his arsenal
He has had his moments of rookie jitters and questionable throws costing the Chargers wins, but overall Herbert has been super impressive. His production and level of play has kept the Chargers in close contests against quality opposition (think The Chiefs and Buccaneers games). The former Oregon star has looked composed under pressure and has shown tremendous mobility.
The oft disrespected Keenan Allen provides Herbert with a top 10 receiving option. He has arguably the best hands in the league as serves as a tremendous safety net for Herbert. Allen recently signed a 4-year, $80 million dollar deal that will keep him from becoming an UFA until 2025.
Mike Williams is finally consistently displaying the tremendous talent and upside he showed in college which made him the 7th overall selection in the 2017 draft. He provides a great red zone target for Herbert and in week 5 against the Saints they connected for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Hunter Henry is an above-average receiving tight end, currently playing under the franchise tag. Herbert and Henry have combined for one touchdown and that number will increase as the season goes on.
Austin Ekeler has proven to be the premier receiving back in the league the past two seasons. He recently signed a 4-year, $24.5 million dollar deal. Though he is not a bruiser (the Chargers appear to be lacking one), he is extremely elusive and versatile.
Herbert’s O-line is faring far better than Burrows. The Chargers are ranked 23rd in run blocking and 18th in pass protection.
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2020
Justin Herbert may not have the wins to show for it yet but he looks like a special player
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 13, 2020
Justin Herbert extends the play and throws a missle to Keenan Allen for the TD. Big-boy play by the rookie.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 13, 2020
Honestly, I can see why it is so evenly split amongst the community. Both have great offensive weapons supporting them and an organization heavily invested in them. I get why Burrow owners would not want to move him on due to draft capital. Conversely, I also understand why Herbert owners would not want to swap him for Burrow due to 2020 output.
If a gun were to be held to my head, forced to choose Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert – I would have to go Burrow by a slim margin.
A very tough decision but two main reasons got me here: Firstly, his 2019 Heisman winning college season was arguably the greatest in history and I just cant get that out of my mind. Secondly, he is currently playing behind one of, if not the worst O-lines in the entire NFL and they can only improve in the future.
Despite choosing Burrow, if cost was taken into account I would have much preferred paying a late 2nd round / early 3rd round pick for Herbert over a late 1st/early 2nd for Burrow in 1 QB leagues. I will leave you with this sentence, despite me narrowly (and I mean very, very narrowly) preferring Burrow, “Herbert owners would have the bigger smile over Burrow owners”.
This may be obvious, but through the first 5 weeks, the gap between Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert is very small. Whodathunk.
— Pachem (@PHarr13) October 13, 2020
Justin Herbert & Joe Burrow are gonna have the Chargers & Bengals lookin good for a while
— Cuban. (@NotThatCuban) October 13, 2020