Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Tape Viewed: 2014 vs. Michigan, 2015 vs. Ole Miss, 2015 vs. Georgia, 2015 vs. Wisconsin
A true volume runner, Henry runs with a purpose and has very solid pad level and gets more effective as the game goes on. This is especially shown in the Georgia game where the defense is clearly fired up to stop him and even forces a fumble early.
He seems to take it as a challenge and just becomes impossible to bring down with less than three men as the game goes on. He’s an adequate pass catcher but was a limited route runner in the Alabama offense.
He shows solid top-end speed coming downhill as a runner and excels as a one-cut specialist. When he gets up to speed, he’s difficult to bring down but he’s not sudden or quick from a flat start and doesn’t maintain speed laterally at an elite level.
He is a brilliant pass protector, and an adequate lead blocker. Benefited from excellent blocks on most of his long runs and could struggle without support at the next level.
Speed: 3 out of 5
Henry can get going downhill, shown on two long runs against Wisconsin, but it’s more dependent on the blocking to get him to the second level where safeties are usually already in the box to stop him. His top speed would be average in the NFL and slightly above-average burst.
Power: 4 out of 5
He runs angry, for sure. But has more finesse to his game than you’d expect for a man his size. Still, he can hit like a ton of bricks, this especially shows up later in games.
Field Vision: 11 out of 15
While he does a nice job working off blocks, rarely does his ability to read the field jump off of tape. The creases he runs through are fairly obvious and he doesn’t really use the width of the field, preferring straight-line running. This likely limits some of his gains.
Balance: 8 out of 10
While Henry can usually maintain his balance through arm tackles, he can get tripped up easily in the open field. He shows elite balance when bending around the edge.
Break Tackle: 7 out of 10
Henry needs to learn to use his size in this aspect, he should be able to break far more tackles than he does. It’s very good compared to most backs but he should not be brought down in the open-field or hammered at the line one-on-one and he was, at least a few times in the Georgia game.
Moves: 3 out of 5
Uses the juke and stiff arm well, had a half-spin that gained him some extra yards. None of his moves are terribly impressive and he mostly relies on burst and power to gain yards.
Run blocking: 3 out of 5
He’s an adequate lead blocker, but no blocks really stood out on tape as helping spring an offensive player.
Route running: 3 out of 5
On tape, I saw Henry run 5 screens and a swing pass. He does a really nice job selling the block and whipping around on the screen. The swing was all right but he didn’t find the open space. Not much to see here. He should be adequate.
Hands: 8 out of 10
In 6 passes, he had one drop. The drop was more the result of a lack of concentration than anything else.
Run after catch: 3 out of 5
On the screens, he shows surprising wiggle to make defenders miss, there’s just not enough data to project much better.
Blocking: 2 out of 5
Looks lackadaisical at times and on a few plays would have been burned if the play had shifted back to his side, he takes plays off when he doesn’t expect the ball.
Technique: 5 out of 5
Henry gets solid pad level, squares up and pops with authority. He’s rarely out-leveraged and also has a really effective cut block.
Effectiveness: 5 out of 5
He never gives up sacks and rarely gives up pressure.
Potential: 10 out of 10
Has the frame and mean streak to be dominant in this aspect for as long as he plays in the pros.
TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 75/100
NFL Comparison: James Starks, RB, Packers
There are really no perfect comparisons for Henry in the NFL. He’s an uncommon specimen at his size but he and Starks are long one-cut runners who have good burst and run with power. They use field vision to set up blocks in the short area and accelerate into the secondary. Both are adequate pass catchers and Starks has shown he’s a solid volume runner when he’s had opportunities to start over Eddie Lacy.