2021 NFL Draft: Malik Herring Player Profile

Malik Herring NFL Draft

Malik Herring NFL Draft Overview

Position: Edge Defender

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 283 pounds

School: Georgia

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Malik Herring 2021 NFL Draft Profile


Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, player projections become a difficult task and many names have question marks surrounding if and when they’ll be drafted. Prospect Malik Herring looks to sneak into the later rounds of the NFL draft after a solid 2020 performance, where he posted 20 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks and two pass breakups. With a chance to raise his stock at the Senior Bowl, Herring tore his right ACL, only making his late-round projection in April more blurry.

Entering the college football gauntlet as a four star recruit, Malik Herring’s potential outshined his production with his time at Georgia. As a true freshman reserve, Herring played in all 15 games, notching only seven tackles. After a quiet sophomore year with only one start, his junior campaign earned him Georgia’s Most Improved Defensive Player in 2019, where Herring started 9 of 13 games, logging 26 tackles, five for loss, and two pass break-ups.


  • Shows fundamental tackling skills when in position;
  • Maintains right pad level attacking his blockers;
  • Doesn’t misplace hands or slaps – is very accurate;
  • Substantial lower body strength – prototypical build;
  • Physical skill and instincts as a pass rusher.


  • Has shown lack of maturity in play;
  • Struggles against centers and guards when rushing inside;
  • Doesn’t show a high motor or second burst;
  • Slow to change directions during pursuit – leaving speed to be desired;
  • Torn ACL at Senior Bowl practice heading into rookie season.

NFL Comparison: Kendal Vickers

Teams With Need at Position: Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills

Projection: Seventh Round

Bottom Line on Malik Herring

At first glance, Herring’s production has very little that stands out. What he lacks on the stat sheet is made up for in sheer physical traits and potential. With a strong lower body, and fundamental placement of his hands off the line, Herring could make his way into a rotational spot on an NFL roster. His prototypical end build will certainly catch a few coaches’ attention, along with his 41 quarterback pressures during his senior outing. A solid tackler as well, Herring occasionally makes big stops for a loss and could end up in a 3-4 scheme in packages to also help stop the run.

While 41 pressures on the quarterback may be impressive, only two sacks to show for it may raise eyebrows. Herring shows physical traits to beat his man, but lacks the burst shown to reach signal callers. Slow to change direction, the Georgia prospect is without a second level motor that elite NFL edge rushers possess. Stopping the run is in his skill set as well, but struggles against inside blockers may continue at the next level and stunt his development. With all that being cause for concern, a torn ACL during practice at the Senior Bowl has only made the case for Herring more tasking.

Provided his recovery from the torn ACL goes accordingly, Herring has a legitimate shot at finding a home in the final rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. Tagged as the high-risk, high-reward type of prospect, Herring may easily land on a team that gives him an adequate role in a scheme that fits his slower style of play. With a year or two on the bench and hands-on coaching, Herring could absorb NFL game speed and tactics to become a solid rotational rusher or possible starter in the league.

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