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USA Today’s Mike Jones released his quarterback tiers heading into the season.
Rather than ranking them numerically, Jones put all 32 starting signal-callers across the league in six different categories: elite, very good, solid, ascending, unproven and shaky.
For Chargers QB Justin Herbert, Jones put the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year in the “ascending” tier entering the summer.
Justin Herbert threw 31 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions as a rookie who wasn’t expected to play right away. A new coaching staff could create some challenges, but Herbert will work tirelessly to learn the new offense.
The three other quarterbacks that fell under the same category as Herbert were Baker Mayfield (Browns), Joe Burrow (Bengals) and Kyler Murray (Cardinals).
In 2020 Herbert set the league on fire, setting rookie records for total touchdowns (36), passing touchdowns (31), completions (396), multi-passing touchdown games (10), games with 300 yards passing (8) and three-passing touchdown games (6).
Heading into 2021, the former Oregon product could be in for an even bigger season, given the fact that he will have all key skill players from last year returning, with the additions of Jared Cook and Josh Palmer.
Most importantly, Herbert will have plenty of time to distribute the wealth to those guys knowing that he will have a competent offensive line that features All-Pro center Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, Oday Aboushi and first-round pick Rashawn Slater.
How he will do under new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi remains to be seen. However, Herbert, who has had five different play-callers dating back to his freshman year of college, has still managed to master new systems due to his high football IQ.