5 toughest rookies on Bengals 2023 schedule

  • The Steelers have 2 players on the list
  • Top-5 pick
  • Dominant RB
  • Can they get past that offensive lineman?
Aug 24, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Nick Herbig (51) sacks Atlanta
Aug 24, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Nick Herbig (51) sacks Atlanta / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Nick Herbig

One of the many nauseating football idioms we incessantly hear is, “You can never have too many pass rushers.” Evidently, the Pittsburgh Steelers take that motto to heart. 

In this year’s draft, Pittsburgh selected Wisconsin edge rusher Nick Herbig in the fourth round. A team that already boasts two of the best pass rushers in the NFL decided that was not enough to torment the Bengals. They felt it was necessary to draft another potentially elite pass rusher. So they did. And so he is.   

Herbig came up big in the preseason for his team. The former Badger will join the rotation with TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, and another recent draft pick, Quince Roche. 

Like what Tyjae Spears will provide for Derrick Henry, Herbig will spell Highsmith and Watt, ensuring that all four pass rushers are rested and ready to go in the fourth quarter of close games when they need to get to opposing quarterbacks. 

Side note: I hate them. 

In his final year at Wisconsin, Herbig recorded 47 tackles, 11 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. His pass-rushing skills were on clear display for everyone in the preseason. 

If the Bengals had a pass rusher who finished the preseason with 10 tackles, three for loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and four quarterback hits, the fanbase would be head over heels in love with him. A fourth-round pick, no less. 


Next. 53-Man Roster Cut Tracker 2023. 53-Man Roster Cut Tracker 2023. dark

The Bengals have a tough schedule ahead of them this year. It was made tougher when some of the teams Cincinnati will be facing made incredible draft choices. Anticipate these rookies thriving in their new roles and situations. Hopefully, it will not be at the expense of the Bengals’ defense.