NFL player comparisons for Steelers OLB Nick Herbig

Steelers, Kamalei Correa
Steelers, Kamalei Correa / Todd Olszewski/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Steelers traded their original fourth-round pick in order to move up in the first round for Broderick Jones. They later recouped a fourth-rounder by trading back in the third round. With the 132nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Wisconsin edge defender, Nick Herbig.

According to the consensus board, this was a tremendous value in the fourth round. However, there's a reason that Herbig fell: he just doesn't have the size, power, or length teams desire to hold up on the edge full-time. This has caused draft analysts and experts to believe that he may play a hybrid pass rusher/linebacker role in the NFL or even switch to off-ball linebacker full-time (a la Joe Schobert).

As of now, the plan by the Steelers seems to be to try him on the edge first. In my post-draft scouting report, I concluded that Herbig is a tweener in a bad way, but his instincts, toughness, and feel for the game could help him carve out a respectable role. Here are my high-end, low-end, and most likely NFL player comparisons for Nick Herbig:

High-end NFL comparison: Kamalei Correa

Sticking with the assumption that Herbig is going to play some sort of hybrid role as a rotational defender, I think that Kamalei Correa is a reasonable high-end player comp. Correa was a former second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens back in 2016 and he was listed as both a linebacker and an outside linebacker at different stages of his NFL career.

Like Herbig, Correa was also undersized coming out of Boise State. At the NFL Combine, he measured in at 6'3'' on the dot and weighed 243 pounds. Correa also had just 31 5/8'' arms. Both Correa and Herbig had similar speed and explosive testing numbers entering the league.

Though Herbig played in the Big Ten at Wisconsin, both Herbig and Correa were uber-productive coming out of college as juniors. Correa was only credited with 19 starts in his 63-game NFL career, but he was a solid rotational piece.

Correa was traded to the Titans halfway after two seasons. In 2019, Correa earned 37 tackles, 6 TFLs, 5 QB hits, and 5.0 sacks while starting 5 of 16 games. He played his most recent football in 2020 after signing a one-year deal with the Jaguars. Correa signed with the Chiefs in 2021, but his contract was terminated before played a game. A five-year NFL career for Herbig would be a solid stint for a late fourth-round draft choice.