6 running backs the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Pooka Williams Jr.
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Pooka Williams Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Khalil Herbert – Virginia Tech /

Khalil Herbert (Virginia Tech)


  • Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 204 pounds

2020 Stats:

  • 1,183 rushing yards (7.6 ypc)
  • 10 catches, 179 receiving yards
  • 9 total TDs (8 rushing/1 receiving)

Khalil Herbert spent his fifth year at Virginia Tech after transferring from Kansas and it did wonders for his draft stock. He eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and he scored a career-high eight rushing touchdowns with the Hokies.

Herbert got the chance to showcase what he can do in the run game while still not developing any sort of passing-game relevance, which is a concern. He never had more than 10 catches in a single season and he was far from being reliable as a blocker in passing situations. That does worry me with his fit and role in Minnesota, but he does fit the zone run scheme they currently implement.

He is very slippery through gaps and he does a good job of getting to the second level despite crowded boxes. A lot of his success is a result of excellent vision and footwork that allows him to serve as a one-cut back and cross in front of defenders’ hips. Everything about Herbert as a runner is fluid, but he is not overwhelmingly dangerous in space.

My biggest question mark with Herbert is his ability to sustain long speed and win down the field as a runner. He was often caught from behind after breaking through the defense which could be the difference between six points and an eventual punt or turnover in the NFL.

Herbert projects more as an eventual starting back that is subbed off in passing situations, but he would be an ideal replacement for Alexander Mattison for the Vikings.