2016 NFL Draft Profile: RB Derrick Henry

By Jason Rodriguez
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry participates in drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry participates in drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of running back Derrick Henry out of Alabama.

With winning a National Championship, Henry looks to make a statement for this upcoming draft. When ones looks at Henry, you would think he is built as a linebacker or strong safety but he is a running back that can cause havoc against any team. His physical presence gives many opposing defenses a problem because of his ability to wear them down. He had an excellent season as he won the Heisman trophy for being the best player in Division 1 college football.

His statistics improved tremendously this past season as he had 395 carriers, 2,219 total yards, 5.6 average per carry, 28 touchdowns, 11 receptions and 91 total receiving yards. NFL teams are only going to question his stamina because he has seemed to wear down at times throughout games.

One can compare him to  Jim Brown for how physical he is at the running back position. Many teams would think they got the best of Henry early on in games, but he has the ability to adjust and make the correct decisions in helping himself end a game strong. Even though college is different from the NFL, he played for the best conference in college football in the SEC. What most running backs lack that Henry has is his ability to pass block in blitzing situations.


Henry is a very physical runner that will leave a message to opposing defenses to not take him lightly and to bring your best. For how big he is as a running back he has decent speed that could break tackles and have the ability to be a game changer. For teams to tackle him he needs to have multiple people bring him down and not just one person. It seems after he is able to break tackles he is able to gain a tremendous amount of yards which any organization would want from a player with so much power in his running game.

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He also has a good nose for where the end zone is and he is able to work his way into helping his team score. Most running backs in the NFL have trouble blocking pass rushers but with Henry, he has very good awareness and excellent blocking skills in picking up any blitzes coming his way.

Henry is a great observer and has the ability to adjust his game as it goes on. A lot of teams believe they have him in check but out of nowhere he will break one for either a big gain or a touchdown. He has very good patience and quick feet when the hole for him to run through is collapsing.


Henry needs to learn how to become a better receiving option because he has trouble catching the ball on the run. Many running backs in the league now are multi dimensional which is important for the situation the team might be in. He has a tendency of dropping many passes and sometimes causes unnecessary fumbles. He seems to be to slow in making cuts away from defenders. He has trouble in making cuts to try to break away which makes him a one dimensional player.

For the conference he played in, analysts don’t know if his body took a beating because of how many times he carried the ball for the Crimson Tide. His stamina needs to be built up more because it seemed like he was wearing down during certain games. If he doesn’t build it up it could affect him throughout his career and it could prevent him from being an overall successful player.

He could end up being another version of a player like Eddie Lacy who is big and strong but doesn’t last during those long, physical kind of football games. If he continues to run tall it will cause him to fumble the ball. He needs to learn to establish his running game by staying lower to protect the football.



More jets: 2016 NFL Draft Profile: WR Will Fuller

Henry will be drafted in the second round (34-40 picks) and will most likely be the second running back taken off the board of this year’s draft. He looks like he will be a featured back on a team willing to cater to his strengths and use his speed to their advantage.