Alabama RB Derrick Henry: NFL Draft Scouting Report

Sam continues his look at prospects for the NFL Draft, looking at Alabama RB Derrick Henry.

Name: Derrick Henry

Position: Running Back

School: Alabama

Height: 6-3

Weight: 247

Hands: 8 3/4"

Projected: Early 2nd 


Size, the Heisman winner has the physical stature of an NFL linebacker, reminiscent of players like Brandon Jacobs and Eddie George. A big, physical bruiser, he does not shy away from contact, often doing most of his damage after first contact.

A tough, able-bodied running back, Henry isn't going to blow you away with his explosive tendencies, but he would fit perfectly in an NFL power running scheme. Does the majority of his damage late in games, as his punishing style and endurance will wear down opposing defenses.

More of a one-cut and go type of runner, Henry does not hesitate often behind the line of scrimmage, he looks to get downhill in a hurry and he's tough to bring down when he gets moving.


As with most Alabama running backs, Henry has taken a beating against hard-nosed SEC defenses over the past couple seasons, including over 400 touches this last season. Can not create his own holes, will lean heavily on the offensive line to establish well-defined lanes, but when he hits top speed, it's tough to get a hand on him.

Not a pass catcher and his blocking needs some fine tuning, but he is a bell-cow style of running back that a team looking to control the clock can lean on all game. Will be best suited as the primary back, needs to get into the game flow to be particularly effective. 

Browns Analysis

After a strong rookie season, Isaiah Crowell just couldn't seem to get it rolling last season. With a skill set similar to Henry, Crowell was expected to be the answer for the team last year at the running back position. The addition of Henry would effectively replace Crowell as the bruising back to his shifty running mate in Duke Johnson.

The duo could give fans the "Thunder and Lightning" approach they'd hoped for after the Browns drafted Montario Hardesty in a previous year, and again with Crowell and Johnson last year. 


If a team with a strong offensive line that is committed to running gets a hold of Henry, he has the potential to be among the league's best, unfortunately, there aren't a lot of those teams in the league right now in need of a featured back. The Dallas Cowboys are an obvious fit if they pass on Ezekiel Elliot at No. 4 overall, but he may not last that long into the second round.

Any team that selects Henry needs to commit to handing him the ball 20-plus times per game, as his strength is developing a rhythm. 

NFL Comparison: Brandon Jacobs

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