Chicago Bears 2021 NFL Draft: Ryan Pace worked magic in late rounds

Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Khalil Herbert
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. RB. Virginia Tech. Khalil Herbert. 6. player. Pick Analysis. 847

When the Bears selected Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert, many initial reactions were that of confusion. The running back position seemed to have been solidified going into the draft, which is why it felt like an odd pick at first.

The Bears obviously have David Montgomery as their starter, with Tarik Cohen coming back. They also signed Damien Williams, who is more of your prototypical running back to spell Montgomery.

But, what Herbert offers is a bit more than any of those four can. The reason Pace took Herbert is because of his special teams prowess, in addition to how he runs the football. Last season with the Hokies, Herbert averaged 26.9 yards per kick return — and there’s your biggest takeaway.

The Bears no longer have Cordarrelle Patterson and needed a kick returner in a bad way. Herbert will step right in and take that role, in addition to potentially seeing the field on offense here and there. Herbert also posted a healthy 7.6 yards per carry in 2020, rushing for nearly 1,200 yards.

Pace filled an immediate need with a sixth rounder, which is more than what you can ask for this late in the draft. It may have seemed odd at first, but digging into Herbert’s strengths, it all makes sense.