3 picks Steelers got right and 2 they will regret

Steelers, Nick Herbig
Steelers, Nick Herbig / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers will regret the Nick Herbig pick

Let me put into context the strength of this draft class: at worst, I expect Nick Herbig to become one of the best special teams players on this team. Not perfect value in the fourth round, but also not an absolute bust either. Unless you really want to nitpick on seventh-round picks (even then, I like both of them), Herbig has the biggest risk though.

The reason for this is simple. Herbig played as an edge rusher at Wisconsin, and while he had great production and is a decent technician, he lacks the profile to succeed there. Specifically, his arm length is well short of the average for the position. We just saw a small edge rusher who lacked length struggle in Malik Reed, so I’m not sure what will be different with Herbig.

A lot of people, including Herbig himself, figured that he would have to move off the ball once he got to the pro level because of this. Already, that type of transition has proven to be a difficult thing. A lot of players enter the pros with “position versatility” but end up struggling to find a home.

The Steelers seem keen on keeping Herbig as an edge rusher at first, and even if he does transition, the team could use him as a hybrid player. I feel like this is going to delay the inevitable, and if I were the team, I would be making Herbig work with the off-ball linebackers now as opposed to waiting.

All of this could delay the effectiveness of Herbig as a defender. Again, I expect him to make an impact right away as a special teams player, but his only path to being a good defender is my switching positions. It doesn’t seem like that is going to happen early on, so it is hard for me to be optimistic about him, and not moving him right away could be a regrettable move.