NFL Draft: Derrick Henry Selected 45th Overall by Titans


Former Alabama running back Derrick Henry was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 45th pick during the second round in the 2016 NFL Draft.

ICYMI: Reggie Ragland Selected 41st Overall by Bills

As Alabama fans, we all know Derrick Henry was absolute beast in college. Towards the end of the 2015 championship season, coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin put Alabama’s success in #2’s hands.

Henry carried the ball 395 times for the Tide amassing 2,219 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns.  Add to that the 172 carries his sophomore year for 990 yards (11 touchdowns) and the 382 yards on 36 carries (3 touchdowns) his freshman year.

In his 3 seasons playing for UA, Henry totaled 3,245 yards on 603 carries. Those numbers sound amazing to football fans. However, to NFL scouts, that brings up the question: are Henry’s best days be behind him? How will the Heisman winner fair playing at the next level in the National Football League?

Scouting reports’ weaknesses of Henry:

(I always believe in bad news first)

Early scouting marveled at Henry’s size and surprising quickness. He performed excellently at the combine, but the closer we have gotten to the draft, those in the knew seemed to have changed their minds.

Lately, scouts have been saying they would pass on Henry because he is too much of a “battering ram”  and they are concerned about his longevity.  In the NFL, running backs are lucky to play out (and stay healthy) for two full contracts.

Compiling that many carries in the SEC are sure to take a toll on a player’s body – even if they are built like The Incredible Hulk.  Reports have also stated that Henry’s first steps were too slow to be an effective running back at the next level because slow steps behind the line usually equate to a negative play in the NFL.

Scouting reports’ positives:

Despite his huge size, Henry’s speed is incredible, and he almost always falls forward when getting tackled.  Scouts like the bruiser mentality. but also that he showed this past year that he can make some surprising cuts and hit the next level before safeties know what has even happened.

He does not seem to have a perceived weakness in play types, whether it be zone reads or power run schemes, and has become an above average pass blocker — which is huge in pass-heavy NFL leagues.

The biggest positive about Derrick is that he can somehow change directions and make cuts in the second and third level of the defense without surrendering his North/South running style. Derrick has been compared to Brandon Jacobs by many of the NFL scouts and GMs.

An NFC running back coach stated, “Derrick is a banger type runner, and those guys don’t go in the first round. I like him though. because he move chains and score touchdowns and should come in and be a productive starter.”

Related Story: Ryan Kelly Drafted 18th Overall By Indianapolis Colts

Any good Bama fan will tell you every bit of that observation is true. We expect to see big things from our 2015 Heisman Trophy Winner in the NFL. Best of luck to you, Derrick, and the Titans.