2021 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Khalil Herbert with 217th pick

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Adam Hoge
·2 min read
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What the Bears get in RB Khalil Herbert originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears have selected Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Herbert spent four seasons with the Kansas Jayhawks before transferring to Virginia Tech for the 2020 season.

In 2020, Herbert rushed for 1,183 yards on 155 carries and eight touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 179 yards and another touchdown. Over four seasons at Kansas, Herbert carried the ball 320 times for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 118 years.

The Bears drafted Iowa State running back in 2019, and he rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2020. He will be the Bears' feature running back but Chicago needed depth at the position. 

After Tarik Cohen's 2020 season ended due to injury, the Bears used wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back to help Montgomery with the workload. Now with Herbert, the Bears have a stable of three running backs and some insurance depth.

Strengths: Shows good vision and vision as a runner. Doesn’t fumble the ball. Only two fumbles in college career. Averaged 26.86 yards per kick return at Virginia Tech in 2020. Had his best season as a senior.

Weaknesses: Wasn’t asked to catch the ball much in college. Never carried the load at Kansas for four years before transferring. Left Kansas in the middle of the 2019 after a fallout with the new coaching staff. 

What it means: The Bears have a full running back room with David Montgomery, Damien Williams and Tarik Cohen so I imagine this pick has a lot to do with Herbert’s return ability. After letting Cordarrelle Patterson go to Atlanta this offseason, the Bears need help in the return game. Cohen could also take on additional kick return duties so we may see a competition there. 

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