Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at the 2021 NFL Honors on Saturday night. The Oregon product was drafted by the Chargers with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was the third overall quarterback taken behind Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins.
Herbert threw 31 passing touchdowns this past season, which was an NFL rookie record. He averaged 289.1 passing yards per game, which was an NFL rookie record and the fourth-most this season overall. Herbert is the second Chargers player to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, as running back Don Woods won the award in 1974. Herbert led all rookies in passing touchdowns, passing yards per game, 300-yard games and completions.
In his acceptance speech, Herbert thanked the coaching staff and his teammates for making his job easier. He also thanked former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn -- who was fired this offseason -- for taking a shot on him. While the Chargers finished in third place in the AFC West with a 7-9 record, Los Angeles won its final four games of the season after a 3-9 start. A big reason for that was the play of their young quarterback.
The Chargers had to deal with several notable injuries throughout the 2020 season and are now undergoing a change in leadership with the hiring of head coach Brandon Staley, but they have their quarterback of the future, which is certainly something they can build around moving forward.