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2017 Broncos roster: Rookie running back De’Angelo Henderson

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We continue with our daily series of breaking down the Denver Broncos 2017 90-man roster. Today we keep the football rolling looking at 2017 sixth round pick, running back De’Angelo Henderson.

Photo: Ryan Pelham, Ryan Pelham/The Enterprise

Name: De'Angelo Henderson
Position: RB
Height: 5'7" Weight: 208lbs
Age: 24 Experience: Rookie
College: Coastal Carolina

The Denver Broncos entered the 2017 NFL Draft targeting a few big name running backs like former Stanford star Christian McCaffrey and the talented but off the field risk Joe Mixon. McCaffrey ended up being a top 10 pick and Mixon went a few spots before the Broncos picked in the second round, so they turned their sights to the later rounds for a running back. They finally got their guy in the sixth round, pick 203 when they selected Coastal Carolina’s, De’Angelo Henderson.

Henderson played four seasons at Coastal Carolina and was very productive during that span. During his four-year career, he totaled 4,635 yards on 721 carries and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. He also totaled a whopping 58 rushing touchdowns during his four-year career. He also added 97 career receptions for 921 yards and 6 touchdowns. This past season he totaled 1,156 yards rushing(in 9 games) and 16 rushing touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns. So he was rather productive during his college career.

Henderson joins a crowded running back room that includes veteran’s C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and 2016 fourth-round pick Devontae Booker, but he plans to just stay humble.

“I definitely thought about it. Look at the room. The room is full of talented guys who have put in a lot of years and work in this league. They’ve done something that I’m trying to do, and that’s be successful here. I’m definitely going to take in everything that they can teach me. Just be humble with everything.”

Henderson enters the spring/summer facing some stiff competition but will have the remaining minicamp practices, Training Camp, and Preseason games to carve out a role on the Broncos offense.

The good:

Henderson was a highly productive back in college and put up impressive numbers for three straight seasons for Coastal Carolina. While it wasn’t the stiffest competition, he did prove he can carry the load and the offense on his back if needed.

He is also a bowling ball with some good speed. He’s listed at 5’7” which allows him to keep his pad level low and plow through defenders. He runs tougher than his listed size too. He has some Maurice Jones-Drew to his game.

He fights for yards, shows good balance, has good open field speed, and has good cutback ability. He has an intriguing skill set that I am anxious to see on the field.

In the NFL I think he will be a good change of pace back who will thrive in space. Get him outside, in the screen game or utilize him in the passing game. I have seen the Brandon Oliver comparison thrown around a lot and I see it. Offensive Coordinator had Oliver during his tenure with the Chargers and could use Henderson similarly in Denver.

The bad:

Henderson will turn 25 years old in November and has a decent amount of mileage already on his legs so his longevity in the league has to be a slight concern. You normally like to see a younger back with less mileage on their legs as a rookie, but he should be fine in the short term.

The other obvious concern is the rise in the level of competition. He had a prolific college career but will now have to prove himself against much better players. How well he transitions will define his career with the Broncos and in the NFL.

His size likely limits him to change of pace duties in the NFL, but he will compete regardless. Also, he needs to work on his pass protection.

Quotable:

Rookie running back De’Angelo Henderson on learning from Assistant Head Coach/Running Back’s coach Eric Studesville.

“Coach Studesville is smart. He literally, in the last few days, has taught me so much in terms of just understanding offensive schemes and defense. I think I learned—he’s taught me a lot. I’ll say that. I’m very appreciative of him and I’m so excited to see how much he can teach me.”

Roster Status:

This is a tough one to figure out.

You have to assume that C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, and likely fullback Andy Janovich are locks to make the roster. Jamaal Charles also makes it if he stays healthy, so where does that leave Henderson?

With the likely logjam at wide receiver and tight end, I have a hard time seeing them keeping five running backs. Injuries happen of course, but if not he or someone else might be the odd man out at the running back/fullback position group.

There are way too many variables in play for me to accurately guess how this all plays out, but it certainly will be fun to watch.

Poll

Do you think De’Angelo Henderson makes the Broncos 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Yes
    (531 votes)
  • 40%
    No
    (356 votes)
887 votes total Vote Now