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Khalil Herbert NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Chicago Bears RB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert (25) runs the ball against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

HEIGHT: 5'8⅞"

WEIGHT: 210

     

POSITIVES

— One-gear runner with above-average patience and feel. More of a smooth athlete than twitchy but has good acceleration and a gliding running style that allows him to find lanes without being a quick cutter. Can quickly get to the second level when he does decide to plant his foot.

— Upright runner but does a good job of running behind his pads when anticipating contact. Above-average strength and contact balance. Consistently willing to lower his shoulder and fall forward through contact.

— Above-average vision. Does a solid job of anticipating cutting lanes and getting north on zone schemes out of the shotgun. Shows adequate foot quickness and start-stop ability when needing to jump-cut or identify a running lane.

— Has the ability to open up when he gets to the second level and take runs the distance.

— Limited tread on his tires despite a five-year college career.

      

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NEGATIVES

— His upright running style will leave him vulnerable to unexpected hits.

— Not much production in the passing game or experience in protection. Team utilized simple pass protection that locked the RB in and provided a simpler scheme. Lacked stoutness when he was squared up with a blitzer.

— Will look to automatically bounce zone runs a bit too much. Trying to utilize his speed.

— Is like a magnet toward defenders in open space. Lacks foot quickness and lateral movement ability to make defenders miss in tight spaces.

— Has missed games because of various injuries when he was at Kansas.

    

2020 STATISTICS

11 G, 155 carries, 1,183 yards, 7.6 avg., 8 TD, 10 rec., 179 yards, 1 TD

     

NOTES

— Left Kansas midseason during 2019 before transferring to Virginia Tech.

    

OVERALL

Khalil Herbert is a smooth, upright running back who is best suited for outside runs that allow him to take advantage of his gliding running style. Herbert shows adequate vision and patience on his runs and is able to plant his foot and quickly get north on outside runs out of the shotgun, but he will get caught looking to bounce his runs a bit too much. He has an upright running style that can leave him susceptible to big hits and injury, and there are some durability question marks from his time at Kansas.

Herbert had some big production during his final season at Virginia Tech, and his start-stop ability and acceleration allow him to punish a defense that is overpursuing. Herbert has a lack of production in the passing game and will need a ton of work with his eyes and stoutness in pass protection. Herbert would be best in an outside-zone-heavy running scheme that will hide his lack of lateral quickness but emphasize his ability to plant his foot in the ground and quickly gain yards.

He's a good candidate for a No. 2 running back who rotates with another back who takes the bulk of carries. Meanwhile, Herbert can limit his wear and tear and rip off chunks of yards on a tired defense.

     

GRADE: 7.0/10 (4th-5th round)

OVERALL RANK168/300

POSITION RANK: RB10

PRO COMPARISON: Darrell Henderson

     

Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice