How Steelers 2023 draft picks fit into depth chart

Broderick Jones Missouri v Georgia
Broderick Jones Missouri v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Nick Herbig

The Steelers desperately needed depth at outside linebacker after missing out on re-signing Bud Dupree and releasing Jamir Jones this offseason. They brought back former draft pick Quincy Roche but the only other outside backer on the roster is Emeka Egbule, who is more of a practice squad-level player. Therefore, expect Nick Herbig to earn a decent amount of snaps as a rookie.

For now, Herbig can fill a vital role as a rotational player that spells T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith on passing downs if they are fatigued. He could even join them on the field as a third outside linebacker in very obvious passing situations. As he learns more about the position, he could also earn some snaps as the “Buck” inside linebacker, as that role of the downhill run-stuffing inside linebacker meshes well with his skill set. Herbig could earn snaps there against very run-heavy opponents like the Ravens and Browns. 

But at the end of the day, Herbig is best at rushing the quarterback. He is very good when deployed as the looper in defensive line games, where he can line up far outside before the snap and loop around the back of the defensive line or lineup in the A-gaps and spin outside around the edge. Given how offenses will gameplan to stop Watt, Heyward, and Highsmith, this could create some very advantageous mismatches and opportunities for Herbig to produce as a rookie. 

Verdict: Situational Pass Rusher, Backup Outside Linebacker