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2021 NFL Draft Profile: RB Khalil Herbert

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 9, 2021

After four seasons of middling performances and not doing much to separate himself from the pack, Herbert exploded onto the scene in 2020 with 7.6 YPC and nearly 1,200 total yards. Running behind a solid offensive line at Virginia Tech, Herbert took a massive step forward in production and certainly caught NFL talent evaluators’ eyes in the process.

Herbert’s a small and compact running back with the athleticism to back up what is shown on tape. The traits are there for an NFL team to take and mold him into something down the road, but he might not be ready to be a true workhorse back right out of the gates.

Does that mean that Herbert shouldn’t be drafted in 2021 Dynasty rookie drafts, though? Or does he have the talent and potential to be a contributor in an NFL backfield down the road?

These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Khalil Herbert:

Check out the rest of our 2021 NFL Draft prospect profiles >>

Khalil Herbert (RB – Virginia Tech)

Vital Statistics

Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 210 lbs.
Arms: 31 1/4
40-Yard Dash
: 4.46
Vertical Jump: 33
Bench: 22 Reps
Broad Jump: 115
Short Shuttle: 4.31
3-Cone Drill: 6.96

College Statistics

Check out Khalil Herbert’s detailed college stats here >>

Skills Legend

80+ Generational Talent
79 Top-10 Skill
78 First-Round Skill
77 Second-Round Skill
76 Third-Round Skill
75 Fourth-Round Skill
74 Fifth-Round Skill
73 Sixth-Round Skill
72 Seventh-Round Skill
71- UDFA


Skills Chart


Skills Breakdown (out of 100)

Vision (77): Herbert’s a smart and instinctive runner with great awareness in-between the tackles. He has excellent vision and can quickly diagnose his blocks and pick out the correct running lane. He very rarely bounces to the outside and can quickly get positive yardage when he identifies an open running lane.

Burst (77): Has good burst for his size. It’s not on par with some of the other backs in this class, but it’s more than enough for him to succeed in the NFL.

Change of Direction (76.5): Good lateral mobility can quickly plant his foot and move horizontally across gaps to hit the open lane. Good start/stop ability and uses this to his advantage in the open field to break defenders’ tackling angles. He struggles to go from full speed horizontally to full speed acceleration vertically, which could be a minor hindrance, but he makes it for that with great vision.

Power (74): Willing to lower his shoulder and engage in contact, but he’s unlikely to ever drive a defender backward at his size.

Speed (77): Good top-end speed and has the ability to break away from defenders in the open field. He may not do this routinely against NFL-caliber defenders, but he certainly has more than enough to be a factor in the NFL.

Contact Balance (76.5): Good contact balance and ability to shed tackles. Able to break free from arm tackles fairly easily and keep his legs underneath him.

Pass Catching (73): Only one target on film in the games I watched but showed natural hands. Won’t be heavily utilized in this fashion in the NFL, though.

Pass Protection (65): Struggles in pass protection and often is out of position. He doesn’t have the size to stand in against blitzing linebackers, etc. Overall, Herbert’s a solid running back prospect that will contribute nicely as a part of a rotation. He’s unlikely to be a factor as a pass-catcher, so he’ll need a pass-catching complement in the backfield but should have relevancy if he falls into the right spot. Most likely an early Day 3 pick.

Video Evaluation

They Said It

Mike Tagliere on Khalil Herbert: "For someone who has a lower center of gravity, you'd think he'd be harder to tackle, but I legit watched him go down because he bounced off someone's back."Joe Marino on Khalil Herbert: "While he's a good athlete, he isn't overly dynamic-Herbert's big plays come because of his decision making and how he sets up tacklers in space with smart cuts in addition to his sufficient burst."

Projected Draft Range

Herbert seems destined for Day 3 draft capital.

Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot

Herbert will most likely need to land in a backup role somewhere that will allow him to develop and get a few designed touches in his rookie season. The Pittsburgh Steelers will need to invest in running back at some point during the NFL Draft. With Herbert’s patient style of running, it’ll give them flashbacks to Le’Veon Bell and what he did for this offense. He can enter into a competition with the other RBs on this roster and look to come out the clear leader.

Fantasy Comparison

Herbert stands at 5’9/210 with a 4.46 40-yard dash to his name. With his running style, plus his athletic profile, former Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford is a fair comparison. Langford had a role for the Chicago Bears for a while before bouncing around with a couple of other teams, but he was 5’11/208 at the Combine with a 4.42 40-yard dash. The draft capital will probably be about the same for Herbert, and it will be up to him to see if he can stay in the league a little bit longer.

Check out our complete list of 2021 NFL Draft profiles here >>

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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

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