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Analyst Tabs Two Steelers Players Who Can Be Cut Following Draft

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Nate Herbig

With the Pittsburgh Steelers adding two interior offensive lineman and a linebacker in the 2024 NFL Draft,
former Steelers radio host David Todd thinks offensive lineman Nate Herbig and linebacker Cole Holcomb could be cut in the coming weeks or months.

“2 most-likely “losers” on the #Steelers roster post-draft are Nate Herbig & Cole Holcomb. W addition of 3 OL & most-notably McCormick in rd 4, releasing Herbig post-June 1 would save $4M. Holcomb’s injury was a real blow & w signing of Queen & drafting Payton Wilson, there may be an injury settlement/release that could create another $4M+ in cap space. Tough biz,” Todd wrote on X.

Herbig’s job certainly could be in jeopardy with the addition of center Zach Frazier and guard Mason McCormick. Frazier is expected to be a plug-and-play starter, but there’s no guarantee that the South Dakota State product will be an instant success.

McCormick scored a 9.96 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) out of a possible 10.00. This ranked eighth out of 1,583 offensive guards from 1987 to 2024. He’s highly regarded for his ability to get out in space and pull.

On paper, McCormick could be a steal because of his measurables, but offensive line guru Brandon Thorn has some legitimate doubts.

“McCormick’s another one of those guys I was lower on than most. I had a fifth-round grade on McCormick. It was tough to come to terms how different his film was with how he performed at the Shrine Game and how he tested,” Thorn said on the latest episode of his Trench Warfare podcast. “He didn’t play to that level of testing, in my opinion, on film. I was just kind of overwhelmed with his film at South Dakota State. He has the size, the length, the square power, as a puller was all his best film as a puller. But in terms of base blocks, angle drive blocks, I just didn’t see it.”

McCormick dominated at South Dakota State, which is the FCS level, so the jump to the NFL will be a drastic transition process. Thorn thinks the Steelers will find out soon rather than later if McCormick has what it takes to play in the pros.

“They’re gonna find out real quickly if the corner that he seemingly turned from film to Shrine was like real, real legit or not, because he’s gonna have to block Keeanu Benton and Cam Heyward,” Thorn said. “And I think the Steelers are gonna find out real quick if he’s gonna make it or not.”

In regards to Holcomb, his status is still unclear after suffering a season-ending knee injury last season. If he can stay healthy, Payton Wilson could be the steal of the draft. Many considered him the best linebacker in this year’s draft.

“I can tell you Cole [Holcomb’s] working extremely hard to get back,” Khan said to reporters. “I don’t really have much to add on the timeline. We’ve discussed this, it was a major injury but he is working hard and I’m optimistic about all the effort he’s going to put into getting back on the field.”

Holcomb was injured last season when chasing down Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins when teammate Keanu Neal tackled Hopkins and swung around his body, colliding with Holcomb. Neal’s left leg impacted Holcomb’s left leg right below Holcomb’s knee, buckling it backward.