2019 NFL Draft: Oregon QB Justin Herbert returning for senior season


If the Raiders hoped to trade quarterback Derek Carr and take Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they can start rethinking that plan.

Herbert, one of the nation's top quarterback prospects, announced Wednesday that he'll skip the 2019 NFL Draft and return to Oregon for his senior season.

ESPN's Todd McShay had Herbert rated as the No. 2 quarterback in this draft class, and had him going No. 7 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his first mock draft.

But now, Herbert is off the board. That leaves Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the top option for prospective teams.

On Dec. 7, NBC Sports California's Scott Bair spoke with Oregon coach Mario Cristobal about Herbert. Cristobal left the impression that Herbert would fit well with Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

Cristobal believes Herbert could have handled the media scrutiny of being a top draft pick.

"It’s part of his personality, but you really have to tune out the noise,” Cristobal told Bair. “That’s part of it. We talk to our guys about outside noise, and we say it’s not there at 5 a.m. when they’re working out. It’s not there when they’re getting treatment at all hours. The noise should never factor into anything. At the same time, you have to understand that he has gotten to this point because of his hard work and dedication."

Not only does this impact the Raiders in case they were looking for a new quarterback, but it also takes an option off the board in case a team wanted to trade up with the Raiders or the 49ers to pick Herbert.

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