NY Jets may have landed a waiver-wire steal in OL Nate Herbig

NY Jets, Nate Herbig
NY Jets, Nate Herbig / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas has garnered somewhat of a reputation for finding value on the waiver wire during his time with the organization. He's hoping that Nate Herbig will be next in a lengthy line of successful waiver claims.

The Jets officially claimed Herbig off waivers on Thursday following his release by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the week. Herbig had requested his release given the Eagles' offensive line depth as he believed he had a better chance of receiving playing time elsewhere.

While Herbig won't be asked to start in New York, the fact that the Jets were able to steal a young, versatile, and productive offensive lineman for virtually free is remarkable.

At just 23-years-old, Herbig already has 17 starts under his belt and has seen playing time at both guard spots and even a little at center. It's not as if he's been a liability out there either. Far from it.

Nate Herbig could be the next NY Jets waiver-wire success story

Signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent back in 2019, the former Stanford standout was brought to Philadelphia due in part to a conversation with then vice president of player personnel, Joe Douglas.

Three years later, Herbig has reunited with Douglas in New York.

He didn't play much as a rookie, but Herbig soon found himself in a starting role in his second NFL season following injuries. Herbig played well earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 71.2 that ranked 13th among all guards in the NFL.

The Hawaii native returned to a reserve role in 2021, but after the injury bug struck the Eagles again, he was once again forced into the starting lineup. Herbig made five starts and played 16 total games, earning a very respectable 68.1 PFF grade (31st among guards) in the process.

At worst, Herbig is rock-solid interior offensive line depth. He would be an asset on most NFL rosters and it's highly likely that many other teams attempted to put in claims for him.

Young, versatile, productive offensive linemen aren't exactly readily available in the NFL. The state of offensive line play around the league is much worse than most probably realize, which makes the addition of someone like Herbig for virtually free even more of a triumph.

The Jets' season isn't going to be won or lost because they added a backup offensive lineman. It's important to have perspective when it comes to waiver claims.

But it's hard not to get excited about a move like this. Nate Herbig is a good, young offensive lineman. Those players don't just grow on trees. He immediately becomes the team's best backup lineman and adds further depth alongside the likes of Greg Van Roten and Dan Feeney.

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From John Franklin-Myers to Braxton Berrios to Quincy Williams to Ty Johnson, Joe Douglas has turned numerous waiver claims into legitimate contributors.

Nate Herbig has a very good chance to be the next name on that list.