5. Nick Herbig
Edge rushers are generally well-positioned to take home Rookie of the Year honors. They make splash plays that consistently appear in the stat sheet and highlight reels. The Steelers selected Nick Herbig out of Wisconsin to be the third outside linebacker behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Herbig was a pass-rushing demon at Wisconsin and should get plenty of favorable matchups and opportunities.
However, barring a catastrophic injury, Herbig is still stuck behind Watt and/or Highsmith. He probably won’t see the field enough to rack up enough stats to realistically contend for any awards. Furthermore, even if there is an injury and Herbig takes on a larger role, he would be a smaller edge defender who could struggle to set the edge against NFL blockers.
Offenses could focus on stopping the other edge rusher and Cam Heyward, giving Herbig many one-on-one opportunities. But at the end of the day, he likely won’t get on the field enough to have a shot at the award.