The Los Angeles Chargers are entering a transitional period at their quarterback position. With Philip Rivers now gone after 15 years as the Chargers signal-caller, the team went out and drafted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
With veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor already in house, the general perception is that Taylor will keep the seat warm for Herbert until the Oregon product is ready to step on the field. That’s a completely fair assumption, when team’s draft a quarterback in the first round the expectation is that he starts sooner rather than later.
How long will Herbert wait on the sideline for the Chargers is the real question, and that all depends on two major factors. One, how long will it take for Herbert to adjust to the NFL game and be able to hold his own. And two, how well Taylor plays while Herbert is on the sideline.
It’s easy to overlook Taylor. He’s not a special player, but he’s certainly adequate enough to win games when his supporting cast is stellar. His last season as a starter came in 2018 with the Cleveland Browns, and there’s no denying his three-game stint was downright terrible. He threw two touchdowns, two interceptions and completed an abysmal 49.4% of his passes.
Recency bias plays a huge role in how fans and pundits view players around the league, so it’s easy to see why Taylor gets written off so quickly. But during his time as the Buffalo Bills starter, where Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was a part of the Bills offensive coaching staff, Taylor put together some nice seasons.
According to Pro Football Focus, from 2015 to 2017 Taylor finished in the top-15 among all quarterbacks in overall PFF grade, and top-10 among quarterbacks in his PFF rushing grade. Lynn saw first hand the kind of versatility Taylor can bring to his offense, and I’m sure he’ll utilize Taylor to bring out that versatility.
Taylor is the definition of a game managing quarterback, with a little added wrinkle due to his scrambling ability. He won’t put up crazy numbers, but with a solid supporting cast around him, he surely has the ability to win games.
With all the solid weapons the Chargers have to work with, Tyrod Taylor could surprise a lot of fans this season.