Philadelphia Eagles: Who on Earth is Nate Herbig?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Every year, the Philadelphia Eagles identify a few UDFA who end up making the team, but Stanford guard Nate Herbig may be the most unexpected to date.

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ initial 53 man roster is here, and it’s kind of weird.

With three quarterbacks, six defensive ends, and only two tight ends, it seems like the roster is very much still a work in progress going into the waiver claim period, but of all the players who made the final 53, the most shocking of all is actually the decision to keep Nate Herbig as the team’s fourth-string right guard.

Why? Because who on Earth is Nate Herbig?

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A UDFA out of Stanford, Herbig left college after an injury-shortened junior season  – much to the surprise of pretty much everyone.

Though scouts, like’s Draft Anaysist Lance Zierlein, applauded the 21-year-old Hawaiian native’s size and nasty streak, he was nary given a draftable grade, with some questioning why he even decided to come out early at all.

Yet the Eagles clearly saw enough from the player affectionately nicknamed the ‘Big Island‘ to give Herbig $87,500 in guaranteed money to sign with the club as an undrafted free agent – tied with fellow undrafted rookie roster mate T.J. Edwards for the most in his class.

From there, Herbig quietly put in work through training camp and the preseason, increasing his value considerably by picking up the center position on the fly from struggling reserve Stefen Wisniewski.

Over the final two preseason games, Herbig earned more and more reps at center, and played very, very well against the New York Jets in Week 4 of the preseason, consistently opening up holes for now-waived running back Wendell Smallwood.

Maybe it’s because he went to Stanford, but Herbig’s ability to pick up center in less than a month and outplay an eighth-year veteran like Wisniewski is pretty encouraging for his potential to continue to develop into a serious piece down the road.

One could argue that Herbig singlehandedly stole Wisniewski’s roster spot, and may have iced out his career once and for all after failing to find a long-term deal earlier this summer.

At 21-yeard-old, Herbig is a huge piece of malleable clay for Jeff Stoutland who could become a serious player with improved conditioning – the exact kind of player teams want to fill out their final few roster spots with.

Next. Eagles fans shouldn’t be too upset over missing out on Jadeveon Clowney. dark

While we may not see him play at all in 2019, barring an injury to Jason Kelce and Isaac Seumalo of course, keeping Nate Herbig is a really smart move by Howie Roseman, and while it may draw confusion from some fan in the 215 who are more interested in flashy players like Josh Adams and Greg Ward (RIP), the Philadelphia Eagles should be applauded for identifying a high-upside UDFA with starter traits and developing him into a viable backup worthy of a roster spot.