2023 NFL Draft Measurables
Nick Herbig 40-Yard Dash Time – 4.58
6’0” / 228 lbs.
Nick Herbig Draft Profile
Nick Herbig is a former 4-star recruit out of St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to 247sports, Herbig was the 8th best outside linebacker in the class of 2020. While achieving this status, he gained recognition from sixteen Division I programs. Some of these schools are USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. After making only one official visit, he decided to take his talent to Madison, Wisconsin and play for the Badgers. Herbig started out his career at Wisconsin by appearing in seven games in his true freshman season. According to ESPN, he totaled up 26 total tackles, 23 of which were solo. He also had a sack in his first game against Illinois and a fumble recovery against Indiana. His sophomore season is when he started to get significant snaps.
He became a starter and racked up 61 total tackles, 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. Finally, so far this season he has totaled up 47 total tackles, 32 of which were solo. He also has 11 sacks which is tied for the 5th most in the nation. Lastly, he also forced 2 fumbles and recovered 2 fumbles.
Nick Herbig is one of the most athletic defenders in the BIG 10. When watching his film, I was impressed with his ability to explode off the snap in a 2 point stance. This allows him to quickly gain outside leverage and get into the backfield almost effortlessly. That is why he is one of the best in the nation at sacking the QB. When pressuring the QB, he also shows that he is good at changing directions at the point of attack. He does this by initiating contact with the opposing lineman, making them think he is going toward the outside. Then he sinks his hips and cuts towards the inside allowing him to make a play.
When watching Herbig on film, he shows that he is ready to compete in the NFL. He is one of the most aggressive pass rushers that I have watched this season. At the point of attack, he does a good job of getting his hands on the inside. This forces the opposing offensive lineman off balance thus giving Herbig all the leverage. When he sheds the block, he shows he has a high motor that allows him to pursue the ball carrier and make a play.
As I have mentioned several times in this article, Nick Herbig is a very gifted pass rusher. He is very good at exploding off the line in a 2 point stance. This allows him to quickly gain outside leverage and force the QB outside the pocket. He is able to quickly gain outside leverage because of his explosiveness, acceleration, and hand placement at the point of attack. I also found that he is good at timing the snap count allowing him to get a good jump off the snap. His ability to use wide pass-rushing angles to get in the backfield is very impressive. By doing this, he is often able to avoid contact entirely and sack the QB without them seeing him coming.
At the point of attack, Herbig is good at diagnosing the run and adjusting his leverage to make a play. This often forces opposing running backs to change direction, forcing them into a tackle for loss. When the ball carrier is running toward Herbig, he does a good job of making contact outside of his frame. If this does not stop them completely, it slows them down, allowing his team to make a play on the ball.
When lined up opposite of a tight end, he does a good job of gaining inside leverage. This allows him to close out the A gap and force the runner inside. He is also solid at using angles to his advantage against the outside run to minimize the gain.
Although I am a huge fan of Herbig’s ability, I do have concerns about his size and strength. As I mentioned earlier, Herbig only weighs 228 lbs. This makes him very susceptible to being overpowered at the point of attack. Earlier this season against Ohio St, he was lined up opposite a tackle who was significantly bigger than him. This player was able to keep Herbig contained in the middle of his body. Since Herbig couldn’t get to the outside, he was forced to bull rush which isn’t the best. He lacks the strength necessary to be effective in the bull rush which makes him predictable.
Shedding Inside Blocks
As I have mentioned throughout this entire report, Herbig is very good at attacking the outside. But, in order to be an effective rusher in the NFL, you need to be effective on the inside as well. When watching his film, Herbig has shown that he is good at attacking the outside and cutting inside. But, he has not shown that he can shed inside blocks. A big reason why this is the case is because of his lack of strength at the point of attack. If he can work on driving the blocker back and then use a finesse move to get inside, he will be unstoppable. Unfortunately for him, he does not have this in his skill set yet.
Nick Herbig Draft Stock
Although Nick Herbig is one of the most gifted pass rushers in the nation, his draft stock is not that high. If the draft were to start today, you would likely not see him drafted before the 5th round. If he grows his game and does well at the NFL Scouting Combine, he will definitely go earlier.
Final Thoughts on Nick Herbig
Overall, I think that Nick Herbig will be a steal of a player later on in the draft. He is a natural pass rusher that is good at quickly getting to the outside. His competitiveness and high motor are what will help him grow as a player. So, if he improves on his ability to be unpredictable, he will be a solid player in the NFL.
He reminds me of former Wisconsin Badger Andrew Van Ginkel. His pass-rushing ability also reminds me of a smaller Myjai Sanders.
Nick Herbig Scouting Report Analyst – Matthew Lewis
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