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Nick Herbig is a potential gamewrecker

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2023 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Illinois State at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nick Herbig, EDGE/LB
School: Wisconsin | Conference: Big 10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21(?)
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 240 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 4-5

Player Comp: Jerome Baker

College Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2020 Wisconsin Big Ten FR LB 7 23 3 26 6.0 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0
*2021 Wisconsin Big Ten SO LB 13 40 21 61 14.5 9.0 0 0 0 4 1 2
*2022 Wisconsin Big Ten SR LB 11 32 15 47 15.5 11.0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Career Wisconsin 95 39 134 36.0 21.0 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 4
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/29/2023.

Player Overview

As a freshman at Wisconsin, Herbig started seven games in 2020. During his sophomore year, he started all 13 games and was the Badgers’ top sack leader. He finished fourth overall in the Big 10 as well. Impressively, his PFF pass rush win rate was the highest ever by a UW pass rusher, even exceeding those of Joe Schobert and TJ Watt.

In 2022, as a junior, Herbig started all 11 games and again led Wisconsin in sacks (11) and TFLs (15.5). As a result, he was named first team All Big 10 and a second team All American.

As he transitions to the pros, because of his size, there is an expectation that he’s unlikely to be a full time EDGE rusher, and will instead end up as either a WILL or SAM linebacker.


  • Has potential EDGE/OLB flexibility.
  • Was effective in coverage when he was used there.
  • As a pass rusher, already has a variety of moves.
  • Likely to be an effective special teams contributor out of the gate.
  • Athletic and quick.


  • Some unclarity about what position he will play in the pros.
  • Needs to add strength.
  • Could use a year to develop in the pros if he’s going to play as an OLB.

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

In reading through Herbig’s profiles and watching his film, I can’t help but be reminded of Shaka Toney - the undersized college pass rusher with an athletic profile that foreshadowed a potentially successful transition of off-ball linebacker. Their size is nearly identical, and both are highly athletic when compared to other drafted linebackers.

In the two years Toney has been on the team, he’s been used almost exclusively as a special teamer, only playing 5% of defensive snaps in 2022. If Jack Del Rio doesn’t possess the creativity to deploy a “tweener” player like Herbig effectively, he’s probably not worth anything other than a late day 3 pick for Washington. But, if there’s a willingness - and a vision - to see how a player of Herbig’s athleticism and aggressiveness can turn up the effectiveness of a dynamic defense, the Badger could be a very interesting addition in the 4th or 5th round.


In what round would you draft Nick Herbig?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (90 votes)
  • 33%
    (140 votes)
  • 27%
    (114 votes)
  • 16%
    Not interested.
    (68 votes)
412 votes total Vote Now