No major Injury History
2017: UCLA, USC, 2018: Notre Dame, USC
Physically dominant run blocker who lives to maul his opponents and punish defenders in the second level. For as big as he is, Herbig's functional athleticism and mobility are quite impressive. He's a fluid mover in space and thrives in space and well pulling to lead block. Linebackers do not stand a chance when meeting him head up and typically end up on their back. Nate's a nasty trench fighter with brute strength allows him to get away with improper leverage techniques.
His footwork is wildly inconsistent and downright sloppy. Herbig’s punch and hand usage are nonexistent at times, and he severely lacks any anchor ability once initially beaten off the 1st step. The guard takes far too many false steps, needs to lower and widen his base, and not lunge into his blocks. Far too often the film would show him getting off balance by leaning too far over his toes or false stepping when being forced to change direction.
If only his pass blocking matched his run blocking ability. As a run blocker, the Stanford junior is pro ready, but in pass protection it’s a completely different story and at times he can actually be a liability. It’s safe to say that Nate Herbig is as big of a project as he is a man, but the potential is massive if able to adapt and apply his traits to the passing game. A run heavy, old-school type of offense may have him a lot higher on their boards than others. He would definitely benefit from being drafted by a team with a power/gap run heavy scheme. The physical gifts simply can't be ignored, which is why I have a fourth round grade on him. But I wouldn't be surprised if he was drafted earlier than that by a team that values run blocking more than others.
Excellent mobility and quickness for a man of his size. Rarely off balance and has tremendous body control, especially in space. Definitely an area of his game that needs improvement. Struggles with knee bend and hip flexibility in pass sets. Not bad "FOR HIS SIZE" but struggles at times against athletic pass rushers with speed moves who can quickly cut from outside to in or vice versa. Extremely powerful at the point of attack. His burst out of his stance and drive off of the snap rivals some of the best run blockers in the NFL today. Purely dominant run blocker who accels when moving forward but lacks proper technique in pass protection. Would be a liability as a pass blocker early in his NFL career and will need to develop that aspect of his game.
Big Play Ability
Movement off L.O.S.
Pull & Block Outside
Adjust in Space
Use of Hands
Mauls bull rushers and run stuffers as long as he's moving forward. One of the most powerful run blockers in the game. The guards explosive 1st step and burst out of his stance are a huge advantage against interior defensive linemen. Nate consistently bullied defenders in the run game, driving them in the dirt or several yards backwards consistently throughout his time at Stanford. His quick 1st step helps when reach blocking and is athletic enough to play in a zone scheme but Nate is best suited to play in a power run offense that'll allow him to use his best attributes. The behemoth gets from snap to the hole in a hurry and is a devastating lead blocker. Stanford utilized his pulling ability several times a game to spring open huge gains. McCaffery's and Love's highlight reels are littered with Nate Herbig lead blocking and pancaking victims attempting to plug the hole. Blocks second level defenders like linebackers hit slot WR's. He aims to punish in space but can be over aggressive at times, leading to missed blocks on gimme opportunities. For as strong as the "Big Island" is, his grip and punch severely lack power and proper hand technique. Often lunges and relies his massive, struggles to maintain blocks in stalemate situations.
Solid quick set and good speed from snap to the point of attack but needs to work on the consistency and proper form in terms body positioning and initial technique. His mobility allows him to keep pace rushers on the outside but his kickslide is very sloppy and he underutilized his hands and length. Active but heavy feet that are wildly inconsistent. In pass protection, he often false steps and struggles to mirror his opponents footwork. His feet are his biggest weakness by far. Relies heavily on his brute strength instead of leverage and technique. Wins and loses off of the initial engagement and has to fight to reset when driven backwards. Diagnoses disguised blitzes and delays well. Understands defensive schemes but has allowed rushers to go free on occasion. Decent punch but a severe lack of hand usage that plagues his overall pass pro ability. Needs to improve his hand fighting, striking accuracy, and grip. Struggles to maintain blocks once engaged and relies too heavily on his overall mass to get the job done.
Ability to Combat Inside Move
Tough as nails and mean as hell as a run blocker but his aggression disappears in pass protection. At times, his technique is completely non existent and lacks effort on occasion. Nate's size may limit his gas tank but he was often asked to lead block in space and get to the second level throughout every game. Highly productive run blocker but can't seem to transfer that success over as a pass blocker.
Displayed decent instincts and a natural feel for upcoming rushers. Mental errors occasionally appeared on film but shouldn't be a huge concern at the next level. Decent job of double teaming DT's and assisting his center or tackle but could do a better job of keeping his head on a swivel.