The 2015 NFL season is over and now is the time where teams start to prepare for the 2016 NFL Draft. In college football this season, there may have not been a bigger surprise than Derrick Henry. Switching to the No. 2 jersey, Henry emerged as the face of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Rather than Leonard Fournette, Henry was the best running back from the SEC as well as in the nation. And while Henry has one game left in his junior year, the fact of the matter is that Henry will likely enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at the tape and see how Henry projects to the NFL.
I think the first thing we realize with Henry is his power. At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Henry has the ability to run through soft tackles. It’s clear that when he hits the hole, he’s a hard person to bring down.
Despite his size, Henry does an excellent job at getting to third gear when he gets past the second level of the defense.
Another thing that Henry does so well is how he reads the defense. Henry is extremely patient, waiting for his blocks to set up before taking off. Here’s an example of that.
Despite being so big and powerful, Henry does a seamless job at getting through traffic, as is the case by this GIF below.
Creativity at the hole is something Henry excels at. He’s terrific at finding wiggle room and breaking tackles.
Another thing that Henry does so well is how he gets in and out of his moves. Henry is extremely light on his feet and it shows when he is dodging defenders.
Despite being a bigger guy, Henry does an excellent job with the stiff arm, as is the case here.
Henry is a guy that may be a little overhyped coming into the NFL. In terms of the eye test, Henry is obviously one of the better playmakers in the nation. He excels at doing a variety of things. However, he’s done all of this for Alabama, behind one of the best offensive lines in recent college football history. Despite Henry’s talent, for a team to get the most out of him, I believe Henry will need to enter an offense that already has a lot of talent.
How does Henry fit in Dallas? For starters, the Cowboys got a ton of production out of Darren McFadden. Despite taking the starting role over in Week 7, McFadden finished fourth in the league in rushing yards. Henry and McFadden are very similar in terms of their build and their playing style. Both perfectly fit the zone-blocking scheme the Cowboys deploy.
Drafting Henry would mean that the Cowboys would be using their second-round pick on the guy. And while that may be a bit high for a back coming into the league with a ton of wear-and-tear, the Cowboys’ offense is designed for a running back to carry the weight of the offense and relief Tony Romo of some pressure. Henry has the ability to do that if he can handle the workload.
Games watched: Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Auburn, and Wisconsin.
Next up on the docket: Devontae Booker