Darrell Henderson 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Darrell Henderson
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 01: Memphis Tigers running back Darrell Henderson (8) runs the ball for a touchdown during the AAC Championship football game between the visiting Memphis Tigers and the UCF Knights on December 1, 2018, at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Running back
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 200 pounds
School: Memphis Tigers

Darrell Henderson made six starts and appeared in 13 games for the Memphis Tigers during his freshman year in 2016. His sophomore year is where a huge leap in production started. He played in 12 games, 10 of those he started in. He ran for over 1,000 yards on just 130 carries, also totaling nine rushing touchdowns. He was Memphis’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2012 and his 1,154 yards landed as sixth-most for a season in school history.

His junior year, Henderson started all 13 of the Tigers games. He owned a gaudy 8.9 rushing yards per carry that year as he compiled 1,909 rushing yards which were second-most in the FBS. He also had 22 touchdowns which tied him for the lead in the nation.

Through Henderson’s first two seasons of college, he piled up just 217 carries. His final year he had 214. His draft stock will be benefited from his low volume at Memphis. His production is another huge bonus as he was one of the most productive running backs in college in 2018.

Strengths

  • Tucks into the second level;
  • Effective bouncing runs to the boundary;
  • Great jump cut;
  • Accelerates well through his breaks;
  • Has a wide range in his cuts;
  • Tremendous college production;
  • Has good contact balance;
  • Able to pinball off of defenders with ease;
  • Gets pad level low when there is incoming contact;
  • Can deliver a blow in the open field;
  • One of the most elusive runners in this class;
  • Extremely slippery;
  • Has a wiggle about him that is hard to tackle;
  • Has a good sense of where defenders flow to;
  • Great in the screen and swing pass game;
  • RAC ability is potent;
  • Appears to be a very natural runner;
  • Can pick up tough yards if needed;
  • Shows a good, tough attitude when he has the ball.

Weaknesses

  • Needs more patience running between A-gaps;
  • Pass protection can use some work;
  • Needs to work on securing the ball in the receiving game;
  • Not built for goal line/grinder roles;
  • Benefited from light boxes.

NFL Comparison: Kareem Hunt

Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: Second round

Bottom Line

There’s no doubting Henderson’s production at the college level. He showed he can do anything Memphis had asked him to do. But will he be able to do it at the next level? His traits speak for themselves. Henderson shows very high football IQ. His ability to tuck behind his pullers and essentially sneak into the second level is great. When he gets to the second level, he’s tough to bring down. He offers a combination of elusiveness and the willingness to run you over. He has very good balance that allows him to pinball off of defenders easily.

His slipperiness and the wiggle he possesses make him very troublesome to bring down. When he gets to the boundary, he is very dangerous. He accelerates out of his cuts and displays his elusiveness, or he lowers his pads and takes on contact. He’s also very effective in the passing game, mainly screen passes. Anything to get Henderson the ball in the open field to let him do what he does best. He’s very dangerous when it comes to his RAC ability.

Some things he could work on that would benefit him greatly would be his patience when running between the A-gaps. A lot of times he would be running into the backs of his blockers and would hinder his yardage. Also, like a lot of young running backs, Henderson could work on his pass blocking and reading where the blitz is coming from. Henderson isn’t built for goal-line work and he won’t be that grinder that wears out defenses for teams. But with his attitude and demeanor in which he carries himself with and his gifted natural running ability, Henderson projects to be very successful in the NFL.

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