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Justin Herbert impressive in his first Senior Bowl practice in front of Panthers coaches

Alaina Getzenberg, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

MOBILE, Ala. -- LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is almost a guarantee to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

But at the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile all eyes and microphones are pointed in the direction of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to see if his draft grade will improve or regress.

The Panthers' quarterback situation is up in the air. Cam Newton has one year left on his deal, but his health is still unknown after having surgery on his left foot in December. And with a new coaching staff taking over, it's a definite option for Carolina to explore taking a quarterback early in this year's draft.

Could the 6-foot-6 Herbert be an option at No. 7 overall? Maybe not -- plenty of mock drafts have Herbert going outside the top 10 and later in the first round. But teams have different feelings on the Oregon product, which is why this week and the rest of the draft process, including the combine, will be so important to how teams view him.

When asked if he had met with the Panthers yet, Herbert deflected.

"I think that's something that I'd like to keep private at this time," Herbert said. "I appreciate the question."

 

Overall, Herbert looked good in his first day of practice, completing several impressive throws, including multiple deep downfield. His accuracy was on point, especially seen on an over-the-shoulder reception by Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant, whom Herbert had said he was excited to play with. Not much could have gone better on his first day.

Teams' concerns with Herbert involve his consistency on the field and his ability to lead and not be too quiet. And while showing he can put up the same performance over and over again on the field may take all week to reinforce, he addressed the off the field talk head on.

"I think people are worried about leadership and me being a pretty quiet guy," Herbert said. "But I would say I'm not too quiet. I'll talk your ear off. So there are these things I want to be transparent with (teams on). And (try to) give a good representation of myself."

Herbert said he wouldn't qualify himself as an introvert or extrovert, but instead said he is somewhere in the middle. Not too far in either direction. Outside of his personality, Herbert elaborated on what teams would be getting from him off the field.

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