Justin Herbert NFL Draft scouting report: Analyzing the Nevada tape to see what went well and what needs work

Justin Herbert completed more than 70% of his passes for the second straight game in Oregon's throttling of Nevada at home in Week 2 of the college football season, and it was a cinch of an outing for the top prospect. 

He connected on 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 310 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. While it was mostly good, there were back-to-back misses early that need to be cleaned up.

Let's go inside Herbert's effort -- something we'll do every week here at CBS Sports -- and provide some of the finer details of this outing.

(Note: This game was on Pac-12 Network, which isn't carried by Direct TV nor YouTube TV. It wasn't posted on YouTube either.)

What he did well

Similar to Tua Tagovailoa, Herbert was not tested much in Week 2. The Nevada defense let a plethora of Oregon pass catchers run free down the field, and Herbert found them often. 

But this play stood out to me. It was a fine demonstration of how natural and precise of an on-the-run thrower he is, even when he's asked to role to his left. 

Sure, the wideout was open. But the timing and accuracy essentially had to be perfect for Herbert to complete this pass before his receiver ran out of bounds. 

Fundamentally, the throw was as good as it gets. While it may seem insignificant, the fact that Herbert is an extraordinary passer while on the run expands Oregon's offense, thereby making it more difficult to defend. 

Where he must improve

Pardon the film view here, but hats off to YouTuber SportsChat503 for actually getting the video of the game from his seats. These two throws, back-to-back, demonstrate the areas in which Herbert needs to improve. 

Of course, I'm not expecting quarterbacks to be flawless, but missing open receivers -- in this case a tight end -- need to be considered in any evaluation of a passer. 

On the first pass, it looks like Herbert had Jacob Breeland down the sideline but overthrew him. The pass also looked to be behind the athletic pass catcher. Viewing note: Don't try to follow the ball through the sea of Oregon faithful. Just watch Breeland try to twist his body to adjust to the errant throw.  

Then, Breeland got separation down the seam. Another throw too high for its intended target. Could've been a touchdown had the throw kept the tight end in stride. 

Yes, both of those completions would've been on the higher end of the difficulty spectrum, but if Herbert wants to be considered a top-flight, potential No. 1 overall selection, those throws need to be made with more regularity this season. 


Oregon got back on track after a blown lead and a somewhat pedestrian but far from bad performance from Herbert in Week 1 with a thrashing of Nevada at home. He threw the football vertically more often -- which I believe he should be doing somewhat frequently every game given his arm strength -- and did so with good accuracy. 

I understand the quick passing game is a central feature of Oregon's offense, but with Herbert's inherent passing talent, the Ducks need to open it up -- like they did against Nevada -- during the Pac-12 schedule to hit big plays on offense more often. After this weekend's contest against Montana, Herbert and Oregon face four straight difficult conference tests -- at Stanford, home against Cal and Colorado, then a road trip to Washington. 

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