2021 NFL Draft: Khalil Herbert Player Profile

Khalil Herbert 2021 NFL Draft Overview

Position: Running Back

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 205 pounds

School: Virginia Tech

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Khalil Herbert 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Khalil Herbert was a running back for American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. Due to a lack of elite size and speed Herbert did not receive a lot of interest from Power Five schools. Most of the interest and offers came from smaller schools like Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic and Georgia State. But even though he was receiving offers he didn’t sign or commit with any of those schools.

He finally received an offer from the Kansas Jayhawks and he signed with them. But in 2016 he only scored three touchdowns and rushed for only 189 yards on 44 carries. He added six receptions for 42 yards. His 2017 season was only slightly better; he carried the ball 120 times for 663 yards and four touchdowns that season. He also had eight catches for 38 yards. In 2018 season he had 499 yards and five touchdowns on 113 yards, along with nine catches for 39 yards. In 2019 he was barely used and only appeared in four games. He only carried the ball 43 times for 384 yards and two touchdowns.

After just mediocre production at Kansas, prior to the 2020 season Herbert put his name in the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. His decision came down to Virginia Tech and Nebraska. Herbert decided to join the Hokies. In 2020, while suiting up for Virginia Tech, Herbert had his breakout season. In his final college season he tallied 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns on 155 attempts. He also added 10 receptions for 179 yards and another score. Those numbers earned him third-team All-ACC honors.

For his collegiate career Herbert amassed 2,918 yards on 475 carries and 22 touchdowns. He also had 34 receptions for 297 yards and one score.


  • Good explosiveness in open space
  • Patiently waits for blocks to develop
  • Good vision
  • Makes defenders miss in the open field
  • Excellent pass catching abilities
  • Catches the ball away from his frame
  • Good at finding creases and getting to the next level
  • Willing pass protector


  • Doesn’t have the size to move the pile
  • Not great at picking up yards after initial contact
  • Short-area burst isn’t great
  • Doesn’t have great agility or lateral movement
  • Pass protection needs improvement

NFL Comparison: Devonta Freeman

Teams With Need at Position: Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets

Projection: Day three (probably fourth or fifth round)

Bottom Line on Khalil Herbert

The running back position has become somewhat devalued in recent years. But that could kind of work in Herbert’s favor as many teams utilize a “running back by committee” approach. Herbert has proven he is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield, which is a trait many successful running backs must now possess. And while it is doubtful that Herbert will ever be “the guy” in the backfield for an NFL team, and again, most franchises use multiple backs, he could still make an impact. If he is available for a team to select in the fourth or fifth or round, said team just might find they got a player who can be a nice change of pace back at a great value.

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