NFL player comparisons for Steelers OLB Nick Herbig

Steelers, Kamalei Correa
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Most likely NFL comparison: Zack Baun

Yet again, I'm going to stick with another former Badger as an NFL player comparison for Nick Herbig -- this time as the potential most likely outcome. Baun is still in the early stages of his NFL career entering his fourth season, but this connection is very easy to make.

Baun had a remarkably productive season at Wisconsin that included 19.5 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks. Despite his elite year of production and impressive tape, Baun still fell to the third round as teams viewed him as a tweener prospect -- stuck between an edge defender and an off-ball linebacker.

At the 2020 NFL Combine, Baun measured in at 6'2'' and 238 pounds with 32 3/4'' arms. He also ran the exact same 40 as Nick Herbig (4.65) with nearly identical bench press reps (24 to 25). There's much more that goes into evaluating a player than testing numbers, but Baun was an impressive pass rusher in college as well.

Sadly, the transition proved to be a difficult one. When Baun sees the field on defense, he spends most of his time in the box and near the line of scrimmage as an off-ball linebacker. Baun earned 359 snaps in his first three NFL seasons but has logged a whopping 908 snaps on special teams during that time.

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It's very likely that the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to transition Nick Herbig to a true off-ball linebacker if they aren't able to use him in a hybrid role. He and Zach Baun are similar in many ways from their size to their tape to how they were used in college. Becoming a player very similar to Baun is perhaps the most likely career path for Nick Herbig.