After months of scouting and speculation, NFL Draft week is finally here.

The 2023 edition, which runs from Thursday to Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., figures to have at least one player with Hawaii ties drafted for the first time since 2020.

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Back in 2020, five players with Hawaii ties were selected, with former Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald as the most recent selection in the seven round. In both 2021 and 2022, no players who played high school or college ball in Hawaii were picked.

Saint Louis alumnus and Kauai native Nick Herbig is unanimously considered a surefire draft pick, with his placement as the only question. Recent projections have the outside linebacker going anywhere from rounds 2-6.

“I’m blessed, thankful,” Herbig said. “I appreciate everybody that’s done everything they could to get me where I’m at today. My grandparents, my uncle, my mom and dad, my brothers, my family, my mentors, coaches, everybody included, everybody that sacrificed for me to see me live out my dreams.

“A lot of people believe in me. A lot of people support me, are behind me. I mean, I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

“I’ve worked so hard to get here. I wasn’t always the best. I wasn’t always the biggest or the strongest or the fastest, but I worked, man. I worked. I worked my tail off and just finally feeling closer to my dreams now and kind of just seeing everything come full circle, it’s like no other feeling in the world right now, man. I’m just enjoying every second of it.”

As for other players from Hawaii with a realistic chance to get drafted, Punahou alumnus and Princeton receiver Andrei Iosivas is currently projected as a pick between rounds 4-7. However, there is also a chance he becomes a priority undrafted free agent.

Other names that could hear their respective names called include former Hawaii running back Dedrick Parson, offensive lineman Ilm Manning and Micah Vanterpool, receiver Zion Bowens, tight ends Jordan Murray and Caleb Phillips, and defensive tackle Blessman Ta’ala.