Former Pitt offensive lineman Mike Herndon signed with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday after his name was not called during the 2019 NFL draft. The Greenville, Virginia, native played a pivotal role in paving the way for Pitt’s prolific backfield duo of Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall.
Congrats to Mike Herndon on signing with the Saints! H2P! pic.twitter.com/ZyqqC9UNQi— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) April 28, 2019
Herndon saw action in all 26 of the Panthers’ games between 2017 and 2018 and started in 15 of those games. He also played an increasingly important role on the offensive line after a brief stint as a defensive lineman in 2016, and for his efforts, he was selected as a member of the All-ACC third team as a senior.
One of Herdon’s best games came in a 23-13 road win over Virginia at Scott Stadium on Nov. 2, 2018. During that memorable ACC Coastal matchup, which was vital to Pitt winning the division, Hall ran the ball 19 times for a total of 229 yards and three touchdowns, and Herndon was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his herculean road-grading effort.
Week 10 @ACCFootball Players of the Week:— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 5, 2018
When you help grind out 2⃣5⃣4⃣ rush yards on the road... you get ACC OL of the Week!
Congrats to @Pitt_FB's Mike Herndon!#H2P #LockTheGates (@mikeh_54) pic.twitter.com/e8S4trlbUI
Prior to his arrival at Pitt, the 6’4”, 310-pound guard played on the offensive line of a Riverheads High School team that averaged 321.4 rushing yards and 41.4 points per game. He was also versatile and willing to take on new challenges, as he played as a running back, linebacker and defensive lineman and thrived in each of those roles to some extent.
Herndon’s versatility and run-blocking skill will benefit him in New Orleans, as the Saints boasted the No. 6 rushing offense in the NFL in 2018. With that said, he will face a tough road ahead in terms of climbing up the depth chart and acquiring playing time, should he make the team, as the Saints offensive line was described by Geoff Schwartz of SB Nation as “the best in football over the last two seasons.”