Derrick Henry   RB   Alabama

Derrick Henry is as big and as impacting as an Amtrak train. He will crash into any player in his way before he will allow just one player to tackle him. He runs the ball between the tackles with the power, strength and attitude that reminds me of former Bengals running back Corey Dillon who was 6í1Ē 225 Lbs. Derrick can run the ball outside the tackles because of his power and strength and his ability to break tackles once he is past the line of scrimmage; however, running between the tackles and keeping his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage will allow Derrick to impact at a high level. He shows good balance and shifty enough feet to sidestep the 1st tackler or change direction when needed at the line if his blockers have been stacked up. He is an instinctive running back and with his size, strength, quick feet and attitude not to be tackled, Derrick is a wrecking crew all on his own. He can make players miss him in the hole, but will not be the type of running back who will make a lot of yardage on his own with shifty moves in the open field. Derrick is an excellent blocker on third downs and, with his ability to catch the ball, will be the type of back you will not have to substitute for on third downs. If you think the Packers RB Eddie Lacy is an impact player, think of a bigger version of him with the same talents because thatís what your running game will be once your team selects Derrick (Amtrak) Henry.

Derrick will need blocking in front of him as all running backs (even Marshawn Lynch) need, but once he gets to the second level, it will be very hard for one player to tackle him. The excuse that he doesnít make his own yards because of a lack of shiftiness is true, but in his defense, all running backs no matter what size or speed need blocking in front of them. If youíre looking for a scat back, donít draft Derrick.

Eddie Lacy is listed at 5í 11Ē 234 with excellent athletic talent. Derrick is listed at 6í 3Ē 245 as of this writing with excellent athletic talent and football intelligence -- you do the math. Itís true that Derrick will not get much yardage all by himself in the open field with a lot of shifty moves that break the ankles of a player who is about to tackle him. But if you got a good run blocking offensive line you would be a fool to pass on drafting Derrick as early as I suggest because all he does is give you the THREAT of a running game every time he is in a game. Most defenses will be forced to put 8 and 9 in the box to stop him and even with that, it will be very hard to stop him from making first downs and yardage in LARGE chunks. Say want you want about the NFL being a passing league; if you donít have the THREAT of a solid running game, your team most likely will not reach the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl. Derrick gives you that threat the day after you select him. So go ahead, down grade the running back position all you want -- I challenge you to find a running back in this draft with the size, speed, ability to block, hands to catch the ball, football intelligence and leadership skills that Derrick possesses. For the cherry on top, he is so big and talented you could use him as an H-back as well as a running back (hint, hint)!

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2016