Oregon QB Justin Herbert already being labeled ‘soft’

The 2020 NFL Draft may be 11 months away, but that doesn’t mean questions about some of the top prospects aren’t already beginning to form.

One of the top quarterback prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, may have some work to do to change the developing narrative about his personality and leadership style.

According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Herbert has been described as ‘aloof’ and ‘soft’ by scouts around the league.

“He’s just kind of soft and aloof,” one scout told Miller. “Another year will hopefully toughen him up.”

Herbert’s playing style is anything but soft, however. He has a big-league arm and he isn’t afraid of contact when he tucks and escapes from the pocket. He has a prototype physical make up and reminds me of a cross between Josh Allen (Bills) and Mitchell Trubisky (Bears) at this point in his development.

But playing quarterback in the NFL is as much about taking command of the locker room and proving that you can be a leader of grown men as it is how well you throw the ball. If the concerns about Herbert are legitimate, his ceiling could be limited.

All that said, nuggets of information like this have to be kept in their proper context. In fact, leaks from scouts or personnel guys, in general, have to be viewed with skepticism.

Sometimes, teams will create negative storylines about prospects with the sole intent of pushing them down the draft board. A club that has Herbert rated as the top overall quarterback could, in theory, spread a false narrative about him to the media with the hope that it serves as a deterrent for other teams potentially high on him, too.

It’s a long stretch of nearly one year between now and the 2020 NFL draft, so Herbert has plenty of time to prove he has the kind of presence teams will want from their starting quarterback.