Rd 6, P217: Khalil Herbert, RB/KR - Virginia Tech

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RustinFields
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damn! fun highlights! nice burst/speed.
Rb seemed weird to me, somebody said recently that they think it's our strongest position group and i agree... this pick makes me think they dont want to give a certain someone a second contract.
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Can his nickname be "Digit"?
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RustyTrubisky wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 7:16 pm damn! fun highlights! nice burst/speed.
Rb seemed weird to me, somebody said recently that they think it's our strongest position group and i agree... this pick makes me think they dont want to give a certain someone a second contract.
That was me and I love that the RB room got some more juice. Smart of Pace to use his late round picks to replace Patterson and relieve Cohen of PR duties
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Herbert is all about replacing (half of) CPatt while also replacing the fuck out of Ryan Nall in the backfield (or at least making him a full-time H-back).

Here's what Dane Brugler, National Draft Bible, and Ourlads have to say about Khalil Herbert.
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I would imagine this could’ve been best athlete available. Put pressure on all RBs present and maybe he is your PR. Worst case scenario, PS.
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PFF's assessment of the Khalil Herbert selection:
Herbert came in as RB5 and a top-100 player overall on PFF’s big board, making this great value at the back end of the sixth round. His low center of gravity makes it difficult to get a clean shot on him, and he ripped off plenty of big runs at Virginia Tech this past season.

Pick Grade: Elite
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Good pick. Me likes.
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The more I read, the more I'm liking this pick. Now the Bears need to work on getting him more involved in the passing game, that element was missing in his college career.
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It may seem contradictory, but I see the Bear RB depth chart as both fairly solid AND in need of help.

The Bears appear to be moving to commit more to running the ball. Even though the depth chart may be at least to the point where it doesn't appear "risky"... it also isn't overwhelmingly strong. Cohen is a slot receiver and gadget. Williams is a 1 year hired gun, and definitely a hedge against Cohen's health (could Cohen's readiness have something to do with this?). The Bears really didn't have a true 3-deep start-ready RB depth chart like some other good teams. Now it looks like they do.

I see Nall as gone. And probably Pierce. Fine with me. Maybe one sticks on the PS, along with Coastal Carolina scatback who looks like a hedge against Cohen not regaining old Cohen dynamics.
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I think this means they move Nall to his more natural H-Back role so they don’t have to carry 4 TEs.
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A good value, but I'm still very doubtful Nagy has any use for a backup RB who isn't a gadget toy.

Maybe Herbert can be useful as a KR, maybe he can develop his receiving and take Montgomery's job in 2 yrs.
wab wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:56 am I think this means they move Nall to his more natural H-Back role so they don’t have to carry 4 TEs.
I suspect this is coming, too, although I'm not sure it will successfully help him survive the cuts.
They sure didn't add anything useful at TE/hB/FB, though.
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After watching Herbert tape, I'm convinced there is no way he ends up at risk on waivers and on the PS. He's on the 53. He's faster and quicker than Monty. Nobody breaks tackles like Monty - but it is also OK to avoid tackles by being quicker/faster. This Herbert kid looks really good.

I think either Williams is at risk or Cohen is going to start the year on IR. Or they just pull the trigger and call Cohen a slot receiver.
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Sports Info Solutions has him ranked third in average yards per carry (6.5!) against an 7+ box which I take as a good stat to measure vision and contact balance

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Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus believes that the Bears unearthed two hidden gems on the third and final day of last week's NFL Draft.

In an article on ESPN.com in which he identifies 10 late-round steals, Renner includes Bears sixth-round picks Khalil Herbert, a running back from Virginia Tech, and Thomas Graham Jr., a cornerback from Oregon.
...

Herbert played four seasons at Kansas from 2016-19 before transferring to Virginia Tech last year. In 46 career games, he rushed for 2,918 yards and 22 touchdowns on 475 carries and caught 34 passes for 297 yards and 1 TD.

Last year Herbert appeared in 11 games for the Hokies, ranking fifth in the nation in rushing with 1,182 yards and eight TDs on 154 carries and catching 10 passes for 179 yards and one TD. He also averaged 26.9 yards on 16 kickoff returns.

"Herbert's 2020 breakout was no fluke," Renner wrote. "We got a glimpse of that guy in 2019, when he averaged 9.2 yards per carry and broke 18 tackles on 42 attempts before leaving Kansas at midseason. After transferring to Virginia Tech, Herbert lit it up with 1,172 yards on only 155 carries and averaged 4.7 yards per carry after contact.

"Herbert has legit home run speed and even had a kick return score called back this past season. At 5-foot-9 and 212 pounds, he has the ideal body type to contribute on any down when called upon."

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/bears ... mas-graham
Bears scout breaks down Khalil Herbert:
https://www.chicagobears.com/video/bear ... il-herbert
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I wonder if recent signing Damiens Williams might be superfluous now.
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Grizzled wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 8:52 am I wonder if recent signing Damiens Williams might be superfluous now.
Been wondering that too. I like Williams a lot, but his cap hit is a mere $125k if we cut him and that saves us a cool 1mil in a year where every penny counts.

I wouldnt think that a move like that would be made until camp when we see if Cohen is 100% (and if Herbert can pick up some special teams/blitz protection work), but also I didnt think we'd cut Leno so early and here we are.
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I think Williams' signing was partially a hedge against Cohen's health. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Cohen started the season on IR. He may be "back" - but history with bad knee/leg injuries like that is the player takes a while to get back their full self.

But yeah if Cohen comes back fast it seems like Williams is the odd man out. He's probably on Pace's short list of free-uppable dollars if a lower cost FA LT becomes available.

My personal opinion is I'd like them to keep all these guys, and have Cohen playing Waldo - lining up everywhere and commanding attention. Want to help the young LT? Get to 60% running, and slow down that pass rush.
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IE wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 6:45 am Get to 60% running, and slow down that pass rush.
Ok the Ravens were only 58% last year and no other team was even close. Dalton's team might be run heavy but I think when Fields gets in there its bombs away ("Touchdown to checkdown? Maybe touchdown to touchdown!"). Don't get your hopes up that the Bears will be the NFL's #1 rushing team next year
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Williams is kind of a "Nagy" guy. Nagy is familiar with him and probably likes what he can bring to the O, especially since he knows it already. I have my doubts that Cohen will be "100%" at the start of the season. I am kind of excited to see what Williams can do.
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crueltyabc wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:31 pm
IE wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 6:45 am Get to 60% running, and slow down that pass rush.
Ok the Ravens were only 58% last year and no other team was even close. Dalton's team might be run heavy but I think when Fields gets in there its bombs away ("Touchdown to checkdown? Maybe touchdown to touchdown!"). Don't get your hopes up that the Bears will be the NFL's #1 rushing team next year
What was the point I was trying to make?
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It seemed like you were hoping the Bears would use an outdated offensive model that would ensure that Jenkins was happily hitting people but would lose lots of games. It's a passing league blah blah you've heard it all - the Bears have to pass no matter how many good RBs they have. Screen passes and RPOs would be a more modern take on helping the LT with playcalling
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crueltyabc wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:41 pm It seemed like you were hoping the Bears would use an outdated offensive model that would ensure that Jenkins was happily hitting people but would lose lots of games. It's a passing league blah blah you've heard it all - the Bears have to pass no matter how many good RBs they have. Screen passes and RPOs would be a more modern take on helping the LT with playcalling
The point was commit to the run, and moreso than the recent past.

Screens and RPOs might be more modern but they don't accomplish what I'm emphasizing - which is putting the D on their heels more to help the Oline.

Just because something is modern doesn't mean it doesn't suck. Nagy's use of WR screens sucks and doesn't fool anyone. A few nice ones near the goal line- to be fair. But him spreading the ball right & left for 2 yard gains or less doesn't set up anything. It looks like he's afraid of the other team.
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Having spent some time since the draft watching Herbert, I'm impressed but this kid. He reminds me of Devonta Freeman.

I'm not saying he's going to beat out Montgomery, but I really like the way he plays. He seems to have really great vision and patience. While his long speed isn't great, it looks like he has really good short area quickness and has a 2nd gear that he can kick on when he needs to.
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Agree with you @wab; I would say he's complementary to Montgomery in the same way Cohen is. In the highlights I saw I didn't see a lot of breaking tackles so I think Montgomery gives us a lot of value in that regard. I think this is especially important since we have an offensive line that is going to need some time to gel so there might not be a lot of clean holes for our RBs to run through.
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thunderspirit wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 8:18 pm Herbert is all about replacing (half of) CPatt while also replacing the fuck out of Ryan Nall in the backfield (or at least making him a full-time H-back).

Here's what Dane Brugler, National Draft Bible, and Ourlads have to say about Khalil Herbert.
Hopefully the half of CPatt they are replacing is the stupid returns from 7 yards deep in the endzone and the continual dicking up of the offense when he was in the game.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 11:15 pm
thunderspirit wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 8:18 pm Herbert is all about replacing (half of) CPatt while also replacing the fuck out of Ryan Nall in the backfield (or at least making him a full-time H-back).

Here's what Dane Brugler, National Draft Bible, and Ourlads have to say about Khalil Herbert.
Hopefully the half of CPatt they are replacing is the stupid returns from 7 yards deep in the endzone and the continual dicking up of the offense when he was in the game.
He was coached to do that.
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G08 wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 10:08 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 11:15 pm

Hopefully the half of CPatt they are replacing is the stupid returns from 7 yards deep in the endzone and the continual dicking up of the offense when he was in the game.
He was coached to do that.
He was given the green light to bring it out whenever he wanted, he just proved you couldn’t trust him to make a correct decision 90% of the time. As CPatts time wore on you could see teams purposely kicking deep as they knew he would bring it out and 99% of the time it would result in worse field position.

Hopefully this kid gets a little better direction on that as I tired of the offense continuously starting inside the 20 when they could have kneeled and gotten the 25. Anything deeper than a yard or two in the end zone should be kneeled when you look at the total benefit/negatives associated with kick returns.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 10:03 am
G08 wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 10:08 pm

He was coached to do that.
He was given the green light to bring it out whenever he wanted, he just proved you couldn’t trust him to make a correct decision 90% of the time. As CPatts time wore on you could see teams purposely kicking deep as they knew he would bring it out and 99% of the time it would result in worse field position.

Hopefully this kid gets a little better direction on that as I tired of the offense continuously starting inside the 20 when they could have kneeled and gotten the 25. Anything deeper than a yard or two in the end zone should be kneeled when you look at the total benefit/negatives associated with kick returns.

I still don't fully get this argument

What do you think CPatt's average starting field position was on those plays?

22 Yard line instead of 25? And I'm not even sure thats accurate since he was averaging like 29 yards a return, but sure

What is the difference there in terms of scoring? I bet its relatively small (granted its obviously larger when he only made it to like the 15)

And even less once you factor in how many times that there returns were better than the 25 (thus a better chance of scoring )

Seems like a good risk to take honestly
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Last data I found it was 2-3% diff between 20 and 25 yard line starting point and scoring any points.

On average right around only 30% of kicks fielded in the end zone result in field position better than the 25 yard of those that are returned. Quite simply it’s against all analytics to return a kick out of the endzone and insane if more than 4 yards deep.

That doesn’t even factor in the higher percentage of injuries and penalties teams take on kick return plays.

In 2018 and 2019 over 1/7th of Cpatts returns started inside the 20 on kick returns. A little less than that passed the 30. So he was super craptastic more than he was really good. I couldnt find the 2020 stats but his overall stats were similar so I would assume it was close to the same.

He should have been told to plant his feet on the goal line and let everything behind him go.
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