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Steelers All 90: How Does ‘Smash Mouth’ G Nate Herbig Fit into Steelers’ Plans?



Steelers Nate Herbig
Pittsburgh Steelers guard Nate Herbig at OTAs, May 25, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have done quite the overhaul of the team’s offensive line this offseason in an attempt to help protect the team’s future at quarterback. The formula has been what most people expected, to bring in guys that newly-signed assistant General Manager Andy Weidl is familiar with and one of those guys is Nate Herbig.

Weidl rebuilt the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line into the ferocious unit that it is today and has been stealing pieces from it for the Steelers ever since he signed in Pittsburgh. While Herbig played in New York last season, he was a part of the Eagles from 2019-2021.

While Weidl was a huge factor in Herbig’s signing with the Steelers, he also appreciated the team’s history and reputation.

“It’s the Steelers! Like, come on, what isn’t there about,” Herbig said. “I don’t have enough good things to say. Guys on the team have already reached out to me, Kenny reached out to me. That shows his leadership already. I’m happy to be here.”

Herbig has been noted as a funny, kind-hearted man ever since he arrived at the team’s South Side facility but he turns on the ‘angry’ switch when it is game time.

“I love the game of football,” Herbig said. “I feel like I play the game a certain way and I’ll play it that way. I’m happy to be here. Old-school, smash mouth, I like that. As you can see, I’m built for it… You know, I play a certain way and I like guys to know about that. I love to run block and just go at it with those guys across from me.”

The Steelers selected Herbig’s little brother, Nick Herbig, in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft and he is excited for the opportunity to play on the same team as him. The last time that the brothers played on the same team was back in grade school. Herbig even lobbied for the team to draft Nick after he signed with the team in March.

“Nick Herbig, STUD. … if there’s a guy I can’t block, it’s Nick Herbig,” said Nate.

While the Steelers seem to have their starting guard duo with Isaac Seumalo and James Daniels, Herbig is likely to compete for the top backup role amongst the guards. Playing time is not an issue with Herbig as he is ready to do whatever he can to help the Steelers win football games, even if that thing is playing punter.

“Man, I’ll play punter if they want me to.”

Over his first four years, Herbig started 28 games along the offensive line and will provide quality depth to a position that the Steelers needed. Herbig is just another piece to the “Pickett fence” that the team is trying to build around franchise quarterback Kenny Pickett.

71 • Nate Herbig, Guard, Stanford
6-foot-4, 334 pounds, 24 years old, 5th Season

Acquired: The Steelers signed Herbig as an unrestricted free agent on March 16, 2023, after his contract with the New York Jets expired.

Last YearAfter being waived by the Eagles, Herbig was claimed by the Jets prior to the 2022 season. Herbig played in and started 11 games for the Jets last season. His first start came during the team’s Week 4 victory against the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. In total, Herbig played his second-most snaps in the NFL and played well. He allowed just one sack while committing four penalties. Following the season, the Jets decided to let him test free agency before he decided to sign with the Steelers.

Steelers Nate Herbig

New York Jets guard Nate Herbig (65) blocks during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh, PA. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

CareerAfter a successful three-year career at the University of Stanford, Herbig was projected to be a midround draft selection. Herbig performed poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine as he ran the slowest 40-yard dash (5.41) of any prospect and ultimately went undrafted. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Herbig as an undrafted free agent and he played in two games as a rookie. He finished the year with just three offensive snaps.

In 2020, Herbig stepped into a bigger role for the Eagles as he played in 15 games while making 12 starts. He played a career-high 894 offensive snaps as he allowed only two sacks and four penalties. He made his first career start in Week 1 against the Washington Football Team, now the Commanders. Pro Football Focus gave Herbig a 71.2 rating for his play in 2020 which is considered to be above average.

In his third season, Herbig was knocked off as a starter but still appeared in 16 games for the Eagles. He made five starts as he played 481 snaps and allowed one sack. Following the 2021 season, the Eagles waived Herbig and then he was claimed off of waivers by the Jets.

Year Team GP GS Snaps Sacks Penalties PFF Rating
2019 PHI 2 0 3 0 0 69.4
2020 PHI 15 12 894 2 4 71.2
2021 PHI 16 5 481 1 3 68.1
2022 NYJ 11 11 707 1 4 58.0


CollegeComing out of high school in Hawaii, Herbig was rated as the nation’s 12th-best center prospect by He decided to commit to the University of Stanford and went on to play 13 games at left guard as a true freshman. He recorded six starts in 2016 and the team went 6-0 during those games. Herbig became the first freshman to start on Stanford’s offensive line since 2012 and only the second since 2000. He was named a freshman All-American by ESPN following the season.

In 2017, Herbig switched to right guard and started all 13 games for the Cardinal at the position. Following his sophomore season, Herbig was named first-team All-Pac-12.

As a junior, Herbig started all seven games that he played in with six starts at right guard and one at right tackle. He missed six games due to injury but still was named second-team All-Pac-12. Following his junior season, Herbig declared for the NFL Draft.

Year GP GS Snaps Sacks Penalties PFF Rating
2016 13 6 385 1 4 74.5
2017 13 13 640 2 4 78.7
2018 7 7 413 1 2 68.5

Salary cap and future: Herbig is entering the first year of his two-year, $8 million contract that he signed with the team this offseason. He will cost $2.54 million against the Steelers’ 2023 cap space. Herbig’s 2023 cap includes a $1.08 million base salary and a $1.46 million prorated bonus. Herbig is signed through the end of the 2024 season when he will become an unrestricted free agent.

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