2016 NFL Draft: Derrick Henry not a perfect fit for NY Jets
The NY Jets need to draft a running back in the 2016 NFL Draft. Derrick Henry is an option, but not as a feature back for Gang Green.
The Alabama Crimson Tide just completed a dream run. Running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman and they finished the season on top with their 16th National Championship. Now it’s time for the over-hype to begin.
The Heisman Award looks good, but in general, it doesn’t lead to NFL greatness. The last winner to be entered in the Pro Football Hall of Fame was Barry Sanders (1988 Heisman/2004 Hall of Fame Inductee).
Currently, the website Walter Football has Henry as the second rated best running back heading into the draft. They also project him to be selected between the first and third rounds.
Fellow writer Paul A. Esden, Jr., wrote that the Jets should target Derrick Henry in this year’s draft. I agree and disagree to a point. The Jets should target him, but they shouldn’t target him to be their number one featured back.
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He points out the Chris Ivory was used much less in the game in the season finale against the Buffalo Bills and that he could’ve been worn down at that point.
In that game, Ivory only had six carries and one impressive run. Overall this past regular season, he had a career high in carries this season with 247 and it was the first time in his six-year career he had over 200 carries.
In 2013, the Jets acquired Ivory from the New Orleans Saints for a fourth-round draft pick. In his time with the Saints, he had 256 carries in 24 games. He is a power back, just like Henry. Ivory has shown he can break big runs and as we saw in the National Championship Game, Henry can as well.
With Bilal Powell out and Stevan Ridley ineffective, it was strange for Todd Bowles not to use Chris Ivory, especially after his long run. There must have been a serious issue. It also could be the fact that his 46 games and 627 carries with the Jets all caught up to him.
Many power backs have had good careers but very few have had great careers. Twenty-nine players have rushed for 10,000+ yards and very few that were considered power backs made the list. The power backs that rushed for 10,000+ yards were: Jerome Bettis, Jim Brown, Franco Harris, Steven Jackson, John Riggins, Corey Dillon, Jamal Lewis, Eddie George, Ottis Anderson and Ricky Williams.
When we talk about a running back wearing down, we shouldn’t only talk about NFL carries. College carries also play a role in a running back’s wear and tear. In three seasons at Alabama, Henry had 602 carries overall and 395 of them came from this season.
That should be a red flag for NFL scouts and general managers everywhere. He joined the NCAA’s 2000-yard club this season but he appeared to be worn down in the first playoff game he was in.
The Cotton Bowl game against Michigan State was his worst game of the season. On 20 carries, he averaged only 3.8 yards per carry after a long layoff. Maybe it was a sign of rust, but it could be a sign of having 339 carries going into the game.
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Former Alabama running back, Mark Ingram, has proven to be a viable NFL back after success at ‘Bama in the same role as Henry. Henry should end up in the same role as true No. 2 running back. He will have a long and successful career in that role but not so much if he’s thrown into a starting premier role.