Over a year ago, Levi wrote about how Oregon QB Justin Herbert would be returning to school, potentially damaging the Raiders’ options with the fourth overall pick, but perhaps 2020 will be the year that the news comes around to benefit Mike Mayock. On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Las Vegas Raiders were meeting over FaceTime with Herbert this week.
The Raiders hold picks 12 and 19 in the first round and would likely need to use one of those selections on Herbert given his presumed draft position. In fact, Herbert has been projected everywhere from the early first to the mid-to-late first so it’s hard to even know if Vegas would need to move up or if they could hang back for his services. Or if they even want his services, at this point we only know that we’ve heard from Rapoport that they’re meeting with him.
What it does say is that the Raiders don’t see it as a waste of time to meet with first round QB prospects this year, as you may have expected anyway.
Herbert is an experienced college quarterback, starting most of the last four seasons with the Ducks and throwing 32 touchdowns vs six interceptions as a senior in 2019. Oregon went 12-2, winning the Rose Bowl over Wisconsin, 28-27. Herbert was 14-of-20 for 138 yards and an interception in that game, but did rush for three touchdowns including the 30-yard game-winner in the fourth quarter.
Mayock and Jon Gruden may have weighed their options in free agency with veterans like Tom Brady but thus far have stuck to a plan of having Derek Carr return as QB for next season. Drafting Herbert or any QB would not necessarily change the plan for Carr as the starter in 2020 either.