By: Tanner Elliott
5’9” 212 lbs
Virginia Tech University
Khalil Herbert has very good vision, and he put it on display throughout his college career. He has a knack for finding a hole, whether he has to make a cutback or bounce it to the outside. He was very versatile during his college career; although he wasn’t used a ton receiving out of the backfield, he was used as a return man at times. This came as a shock, as most starting running backs don’t return kicks. This may come in handy for Herbert, as he can fill in as an emergency returner if necessary. Herbert was also used as the up man on punts, so a team could put in some trick plays to take advantage of this. When asked to pass protect, Herbert is an aggressive and willing blocker. He puts as much effort into blocking as he does running, which is very rare for a running back.
Herbert didn’t seem to try to make a ton of people miss; instead, he tries to use his speed to outrun them or run away from them. This can work to a degree in the NFL, but not as much as it did in college. He used jukes and stiff arms, but not nearly as much as he should have. Herbert was a graduate transfer from Kansas, and only played at Virginia Tech one year. His years at Kansas weren’t the best, as he only put up decent stats there. His one year at Virginia Tech saved him, and that is why he is higher on some boards than others. The production at Kansas may be because of the scheme, but it still has to be considered for his future.
Similar to Williams, Herbert isn’t the fastest guy on the field, but he can still make big plays and rise to the occasion when his name is called. During his time in the NFL, Williams has shown that he has the potential to be a three-down back, but he’s better suited as a complementary back. I think this will be the same case for Herbert. Williams has a bigger impact in the passing game compared to Herbert, but Herbert has the potential to become a bigger factor throughout his career.
Herbert is one of the sneaky-good players in this year's draft. He should be selected around the fourth round, and the team that does so is getting huge value. Even though Herbert may not be the best prospect in this draft, he brings incredible versatility to any team, and can be used in multiple ways from day one. Herbert may never be one a top ten back in the league, but he has the potential to be one of the top number two backs in the league. His floor is being a core special teamer for a team while being their emergency running back.