Below is the PFF draft profile for Alabama's Derrick Henry, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Early-down and short-yardage running back
Stats to know:
• 12th-highest overall grade among FBS running backs in 2015, sixth among draft-eligible players.
• Forced 76 missed tackles (fourth-most in FBS), but his 5.2 rush attempts per missed tackle ranked 86th.
• Receiving grade ranked 229th out of 245 qualifying HBs in FBS, 64th out of 68 qualifying HBs in the draft class.
• 93.4 pass-blocking efficiency ranked 103rd out of 149 qualifying FBS HBs, 40th out of 55 in the draft class.
What he does best:
• Big, physical downhill runner.
• Generates significant amount of yards after contact (60 percent of his yards came after contact, 3.4 YCo/attempt ranks seventh in the draft class).
• As confirmed by his 4.54 40-yard dash time at the combine, he has enough speed to break off long runs.
• When running to the outside, he has the ability to plant outside leg and get vertical with success.
• Can beat up on smaller linebackers and secondary defenders and wear down defenses.
• Scheme-diverse; can find success in zone, power, or man-blocking schemes. Not limited as just an inside or outside runner.
• Not much of a threat in the passing game; just 15 receptions over the last two years, with two drops.
• Despite size, he’s a below-average pass-blocker that needs considerable improvement.
• Size can be a detriment to his ability to quickly change directions in small spaces.
• Lacks the consistent ability to string together moves downfield to extend runs if he cannot just outrun defenders.
• A significant amount of his forced missed tackles came by beating up on cornerbacks and safeties who either over-pursued or were reluctant, if not unwilling, to take him on.
• Production in 2015 somewhat inflated compared to other players due to being given nearly 400 rush attempts. Henry is at or near the top of the nation in total yards, yards after contact, missed tackles, etc., but there are many players ahead of him in per-rush averages.
Player style comparison:
RB LeGarrette Blount. Blount is a big, physical back who isn’t very elusive, but still has been a solid runner in a committee role over his career. Blount doesn’t offer much in the passing game, which has limited his role, but he has shown success as a runner.
Henry is a powerful runner that will get more yardage than his blocking provides by running through contact, but he doesn’t have the elusiveness that other can backs offer. His question marks in the passing game should limit his playing time and prevent him from being an every-down player, at least early in his career. However, there is a role for Henry in the NFL, and he should find success as a runner. The question is what that role will be worth when it comes time for the draft.