Huard: The late-round ‘monster’ Wisconsin LB the Seahawks should draft

Mar 31, 2023, 3:01 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2023, 2:20 pm

Seahawks Nick Herbig...

Nick Herbig of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts after a sack on Sept. 17, 2022. (John Fisher/Getty Images)

(John Fisher/Getty Images)

We’re getting closer and closer to the 2023 NFL Draft, and while a lot of eyes will be on the Seahawks as they have four picks in the first two rounds, finding gems in the later rounds is a big part of success in the NFL.

Rost: What Seahawks’ moves in free agency tell us about their 2023 plans

The Seahawks found a diamond in the rough in the fifth round last year in cornerback Tariq Woolen, who finished 2022 tied for the NFL lead in interceptions and was named to the Pro Bowl.

This year, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard thinks Seattle could find a gem at linebacker on the final day of the draft, as he explained during his Thursday draft profile on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“The Seahawks select outside linebacker from the University of Wisconsin Nick Herbig. And this one is very biased, maybe the most biased of any of my 20, to be honest with you,” he said.

Huard also calls college football games for FOX Sports, where he gets to talk to players and coaches prior to the games he calls.

By the time the NFL Draft arrives, Huard will have profiled 20 prospects on Brock and Salk. His original list had 39, and Herbig was actually someone Huard cut before adding him back.

“I took this guy his name out and I’m like, I’m not doing that. Because if they draft this guy in the fifth or sixth round, I’m going to be overjoyed because this dude is a monster. He’s just mean,” he said.

Herbig, a first-team All-Big Ten defender in 2022, is 6 foot 2 and 240 pounds with 31-inch arms. At Wisconsin, he played outside linebacker/edge rusher in the Badgers’ 3-4 scheme. Huard doesn’t think he has the size to do that in the NFL.

“That’s much more of an inside linebacker frame,” he said. “The problem and the challenge with Nick is he didn’t play inside linebacker in Wisconsin’s 3-4 scheme, he played outside linebacker. But all he did was dominate. (He had) 11 sacks and nine sacks the last two years. One quarter of all of his tackles have been behind the line of scrimmage.”

Huard said of all the players he sat down and talked to last year, if he was asked which one he’d most want on his team, it’s Herbig.

“He said, ‘All I love to do and football is run through the other guy’s face. I love to run through their face.’ And he said it over and over,” Huard recalled. “… At the combine, he ran (the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds). More importantly, his first 10 (yards) was 1.59 (seconds). His quickness off the line of scrimmage is really unique. It is different, it’s why he’s been so successful.

“The guy just loves to run, the guy just loves to hit, the guy has a twitchiness off the line of scrimmage that’s just different.”

Huard doesn’t see Herbig’s name being called the first two days (first through third rounds), but thinks he could be a great pick in later rounds.

“People are going to have to try to figure out where can I put this guy in my system? But if you want an edge rusher on third down, if you want a special teamer that will knock someone’s head off, if you want just guys on your team that run through people’s face and love doing it then you’re gonna love Nick Herbig on your team,” he said.

Listen to Huard’s full draft profile at this link or in the player below.

Brock’s previous Draft Profiles

• Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn
• The massive ‘man eater’ Baylor nose tackle Seahawks could draft

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Huard: The late-round ‘monster’ Wisconsin LB the Seahawks should draft