Justin Herbert's decision to stay in school means NFL's 2019 QB draft class will be thin

Oregon's Justin Herbert announced he'll stay in school instead of entering the NFL draft. (AP)
Oregon’s Justin Herbert announced he’ll stay in school instead of entering the NFL draft. (AP)

If you’re an NFL team that needs a quarterback and planned to find one in the 2019 draft, good luck.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert was supposed to be a somewhat lukewarm No. 1 quarterback prospect in the 2019 draft. Now he won’t even be part of the 2019 draft, as he announced he’s staying in school another year. He wasn’t considered a can’t-miss prospect who was sure to go first overall (though some really liked his potential and he was sure to rise due to lack of other great quarterbacks in the class). However, it was hard to find anyone who didn’t think he was the best of the 2019 quarterback lot.

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Now it gets pretty shaky for those teams that need a quarterback for the future like the Denver Broncos, New York Giants or Jacksonville Jaguars. There aren’t a lot of safe options to choose from.

Which QBs will go in the first round?

It seemed odd that Herbert would stay in school, simply because he was practically a lock to be the top quarterback in next year’s draft. He’ll have a chance to get better in college and we’ll see what his 2020 NFL draft stock looks like. Oftentimes the longer a quarterback stays in school, the more his game gets picked apart by scouts.

With Herbert staying at Oregon, Duke’s Daniel Jones, West Virginia’s Will Grier, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins are next in line, in whatever order. Jones appears the most likely to be the first quarterback taken, though Yahoo’s Pete Thamel wrote earlier this month that Haskins’ big season with the Buckeyes has improved his stock.

We’ll see quarterbacks drafted in the first round, and there’s a chance a few of them will go early. Supply and demand dictates it. It’s just that without Herbert in the class, there’s no surefire No. 1 quarterback anymore. The Senior Bowl, combine and other pre-draft exercises will be huge for this quarterback draft class. We’re far from having the order of available quarterbacks set.

The 2019 draft won’t have a lot of QB star power

The past few years have been rich in quarterback draft prospects, with guys like Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold coming into the league.

If you decided to pass on those prospects because you thought it would be easy to get a quarterback later — yes, Giants, we’re talking about you — you’re likely waiting another year for that perfect QB prospect.

People will still tune in to watch the 2019 draft in amazing numbers, but due to the lack of quarterback star power, the draft won’t have the same buzz as the past few years. Herbert staying at Oregon won’t help that, either.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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