Khalil Herbert Draft Profile
Some players or more fun to watch than others, I had a blast watching Khalil Herbert. In a day and age where offenses are playing faster than ever, Herbert fits the NFL mold perfectly. He is a perfect example of a later round player that can be extremely impactful. He could be the “James Robinson” of 2021, the late round guy who produces more than anyone else. Out of all the day three running backs in this draft, Khalil Herbert may be at the top of my list.
It’s hard to find a running back who changes direction better than Khalil Herbert. Herbert does a great job at sticking his foot into the ground and turning the edge. When Herbert runs, it looks like he’s shot out of a cannon. His burst is on par with other top backs in this draft like Travis Etienne and Najee Harris. The combination of his ability to change directions and speed makes him a perfect fit in an outside zone, west coast offense. He wasn’t asked to be a route runner at Virginia Tech, but when he gets the ball on a screen, he has the ability to absolutely take off. At Virginia Tech, Herbert returned kicks and was dangerous on special teams. Herbert is elusive in open space and is a day three gem. Guys like Herbert give teams comfort to wait until day three to draft a running back just because of how good he is.
The biggest flaw in Herbert’s game is his blocking. He is a powerful blocker when running forward and clearing the way for someone, but he’s just not consistent in pass protection. Herbert struggled at recognizing where rushers were coming from and it led to him giving up a ton of pressure. Not to mention, Herbert was a five year player who split carries with other backs every year. He isn’t going to be a number one, 20+ carry per game runner, but he will do well in a committee in the NFL. Herbert is 100% worth taking a late round flyer on.
When watching Herbert, I couldn’t help but see Matt Breida. Their abilities to explode and change directions are amazing and I think Herbert would thrive in a similar place as Breida. That’s why San Francisco and the New York Jets would be perfect fits. Based on the value of running backs in today’s NFL, I’d say the fourth and fifth round is Herbert’s sweet spot. I’m a big fan of Khalil Herbert.
Contact Balance 7.25/10
Receiving Threat 5/8
Change of Direction 5/5
Pass Protection 3/5
Final Rating: 78
Pro Comparison: Matt Breida
Team Fits: 49ers, Jets, Eagles
Draft Ranking: Fourth Round Pick
Draft Projection: Fifth Round Pick