Khalil Herbert is a running back for the Chicago Bears. The Bears drafted the Fort Lauderdale, Florida native in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the 217th overall pick. Before Herbert was an NFL running back, he starred at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. From there, Herbert committed to Kansas University. Herbert was a Kansas Jayhawk for four years. He showcased his talent and 4.55 40-yard dash speed, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. After those four years, he transferred to Virginia Tech for a final collegiate season, where he set career-highs across the stat sheet. Herbert ran for 1,182 yards on 154 carries, scored eight rushing touchdowns, brought in ten receptions for 179 yards and another touchdown. In one season as a Virginia Tech Hokie, Herbert racked up more receiving yards than he did in his four seasons as a Jayhawk (114).
Sixth-round rookie running backs don’t often get the chance to showcase their talents as a starter, but Khalil Herbert got his shot in Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers. A week prior, Herbert split work with the veteran Damien Williams after an injury in Week 4 forced the starting running back David Montgomery to miss four games. Herbert garnered 18 carries and took them for 75 yards. But in Week 6 when Williams was inactive, Herbert got all the work to himself and supplanted Williams from that point on. Herbert ran for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against the Green Bay Packers in Week 6, and then followed that up with 100 yards on 18 carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 72 yards on 23 carries against the San Francisco 49ers. Herbert posted weekly fantasy finishes as the RB11, RB10, and RB35 in his three-week stint as a starting running back It wasn’t Herbert’s fault that the Bears’ offense was anemic, but he was a bright spot nonetheless after averaging 4.2 yards per carry on the season nonetheless. He finishing the season 18th among running backs with a 28.2-percent Juke Rate (evaded tackles per touch) and 45th in yards created per touch despite a 27.5-percent snap share, a 3.1-percent target share, and running just 100 routes out of the backfield. He winded up with a RB51 finish.
Khalil Herbert proved his worth as an NFL running back. He’s the backup to the veteran David Montgomery, but Montgomery has one season left in his contract. The Bears can get out from Tarik Cohen’s in 2022 and save some money. There’s a scenario where Herbert can soar as the starting running back alongside the mobile Justin Fields in Chicago while both are signed under their rookie contracts. Dominoes need to fall first, but nonetheless, Khalil Herbert is a quality running back and someone to watch out for in 2022 and years to come.