Chargers find replacement for Philip Rivers, take Justin Herbert with No. 6 pick in NFL draft

Yahoo Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers have found Philip Rivers’ replacement.

The Chargers used the No. 6 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft to select Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. After parting ways with Rivers during the offseason, the Chargers passed on signing a high-profile free agent quarterback like Cam Newton, indicating that they were leaning toward addressing the position in the draft.

Run of QBs at the top of NFL draft

Herbert was the third quarterback taken in the top six picks after Joe Burrow went to the Cincinnati Bengals No. 1 overall and the Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5.

[ Shop Justin Herbert’s Chargers jersey here ]

The Chargers also have veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the roster, meaning they won’t necessarily feel pressured to rush Herbert into the starting lineup as a rookie. Scouts have labeled Herbert’s skill-set as raw.

Standing 6-foot-6 with a massive arm, Herbert fits the classic mold of a prototypical NFL quarterback. He would have contended for the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, but chose instead to return to Oregon for his senior year in part to complete his biology degree.

Justin Herbert is the presumed replacement for longtime Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Justin Herbert is the presumed replacement for longtime Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Will Herbert fill stands in Los Angeles?

While Taylor gives the Chargers some room to let Herbert develop, Anthony Lynn’s coaching staff may end up feeling more pressure from the box office than the front office to get him in the lineup. That is if the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t keep fans away from stadiums this fall.

The Chargers have had a miserable time drawing crowds since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, regularly watching fans of their opponents filled the 27,000 seats at the StubHub Center, their temporary home of the last three seasons.

They’re scheduled this fall to move into SoFi Stadium, the gleaming 70,000-seat palace they’ll share with the Los Angeles Rams. If they struggle to win games early with Taylor under center, the need to fill seats could end up looming large and increase pressure to get their rookie quarterback in the lineup.

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