Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama – 2016

Titans, Round 2. Declared early for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Postseason Events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Huge for the position – big enough to be an H-back. A decisive runner, powerful runner with above-average speed for his size. Runs with above-average burst for the position and good for his size. Nice jump cut to find a running lane behind the line. Patient and stays on the hip of his blockers. He is able to maintain his balance well after contact. Hits with good power and good body lean and is hard to bring down – breaks a lot of arm tackles and defenders just fall by the side. Finishes runs with pop and will fall forward for extra yards. Very strong lower-body and defenders sometimes just seem to fall off of him. Effective stiff arm. Above-average hands and can extend well for passes away from his body. Reportedly ran good routes at his pro day, where he stepped in as a wide receiver due to a lack of numbers at pro day. Is an effective pass blocker when he gets good leverage – hard to move him off his block. Highly athletic for his size. Adequate track speed for the position, but good for his size. Above-average vertical leap for the position. Elite broad jump for the position – indicating the potential for high burst and acceleration. Above-average upper-body strength.

Negatives: Below-average hand size. Much easier to bring down when you can stop his momentum in the backfield – he has a hard time accelerating after that. Not as strong when he doesn’t get a head of steam behind him. Below-average ability to change directions with burst in Combine drills, but probably adequate for his size. Used to run a little off-balance, but improved by his sophomore year. Doesn’t churn well consistently, and will lean into contact more than he should because he was able to get away with it in college. Not very nimble and seems to be easy to trip up. Though adequate as a pass protector, he needs to get lower to get leverage against the rush to really take advantage of his size and strength. Has a hard time stopping his momentum on catches near the sideline. Broken fibula in 2013.

Pre-Draft Projection: Late Round 1. He is one of the strongest running backs to come out of college in a long time – stronger than Trent Richardson when he came out of Alabama. His power, athleticism, and surprising receiving ability could make him a serious weapon in the NFL. His size also comes with the drawback of a minor lack of dynamism. But his positives far outweigh his negatives, and he should be a solid NFL starter.

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