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2016 NFL Scouting Report: Scouting Derrick Henry, Alabama Running Back

Could the Broncos add the bruising runner to their backfield?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One prospect who could interest the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft is former Alabama running back Derrick Henry. He is a 6'3", 247lb running back who is considered one of the top running backs in this year's draft class. Henry is ranked as the 38th overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports, and is the 2nd best running back in this year's draft.

During his three-year career at Alabama, Henry put up some outstanding numbers. He totaled 602 carries for 3,591 yards rushing(6.0 YPC) and 42 touchdowns. This past season he totaled 395 carries for 2,219 yards rushing(5.6 YPC) and 28 touchdowns. Henry finished off his collegiate career by winning the 2015 Heisman Trophy, along with the Doak Walker, Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year awards. He was also a unanimous first-team All-American in 2015.

Derrick Henry

Running back, Junior, Alabama

Height: 6'3" Weight: 247lbs 40 time: 4.54 seconds

Arm Length: 33" Hands: 8 3/4"

Bench Press: 22 reps Vertical Jump: 37 inches(Top performer at the Combine among RB's)

Broad Jump: 130 inches (Top performer at the Combine among RB's) 3 Cone Drill: 7.20 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.38 seconds 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.50 seconds (Top performer at the Combine among RB's)

Film Room

Scouting Report

  • Built like a linebacker
  • Powerful runner and pass blocker
  • Tough to bring down once he enters the second level
  • Great vision
  • Stays strong throughout the game and doesn't wear down
  • Finds the hole and explodes through it
  • Long strider
  • Only 5 career fumbles
  • Proven bell-cow running back
  • Great character and a hard worker
  • Once he gets going he is hard to catch
  • Showed surprising speed at the combine where he ran 4.54
  • Always falls forward
  • Nice spin move
  • High workload, but majority of it came in 2015 where he had 400+ touches
  • Taller than you normally see
  • Leaves his legs open for big hits
  • Takes a little while to hit full speed
  • Sometimes he is too patient as a runner
  • Needs to work on his pass catching ability
  • Not a shifty player

Does Derrick Henry fit with the Denver Broncos?

I think so, but probably unlikely to happen.

I know people will be highly against this, but I think Henry would be a great option in the first round. I often push first round running backs anyways. I did it with Doug Martin and last year with Todd Gurley. I think Henry could be a difference maker on offense like those two.

The Broncos are likely entering the 2016 season with a fringe starter like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, or Colin Kaepernick or a rookie quarterback as their starter. Expecting these guys to throw it 25-30 times a game is a losing strategy. This means you need a strong running game to help out the passing game. Opens up the play action, and keeps the clock running and the defense fresh on the sidelines. You run the ball 30 to 40 times a game with Anderson and Henry.

Now I know the Broncos just paid C.J. Anderson a bunch of money, but this a 2-back league. Also, Anderson has yet to put together a full season during his career. Will he step up this year, or be inconsistent? Pairing him with Henry gives the Broncos a capable backup behind C.J. if he struggles with injuries again.

NFL Network's Bucky Brooks thinks Henry could excel with the Denver Broncos.

Henry is ideally suited to play in a zone-based scheme or a power-gap system that allows him to attack the line of scrimmage with his shoulders square to the hole. The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys employ zone systems that would allow him to attack the line as a "one-cut" runner."

CBS Sports Draft expert Dane Brugler also said that Derrick Henry is ideally suited for a zone-blocking scheme in his annual 2016 NFL Draft Guide.

"Henry will struggle to be as dominant in the NFL as he was at Alabama, but he has the athletic skill-set to be a tough, reliable grinder and a blended version of LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Jacobs – top-60 prospect who should contribute as a rookie starter in the NFL, ideally suited for a zone-blocking scheme."

I normally do not make comparisons, but I see a lot of Steven Jackson in Henry's game. Both were taller runners(6'2" and 6'3") and were bigger guys(237lbs and 247lbs). I think his ceiling is Steven Jackson, and at least, you get a Brandon Jacobs type player.

I think Henry goes anywhere from the last first round to possibly the middle to even late second round.

I do think it's unlikely the Broncos take Henry at 31, despite being told they have a 1st round grade on him. If the quarterback position remains unsolved I see them going hard after Paxton Lynch. If they do pull off a trade for Colin Kaepernick, I could see them considering adding Henry to their backfield.

What do you think Broncos Country? Are you against early round running backs, or do you think this would a good idea?