We all knew it was coming but today Derrick Henry made it official and entered the NFL Draft. Henry announced his decision at a press conference. Nick Saban spoke briefly and turned it over to Henry who announced his decision.
Henry received a second round draft grade from the NFL and was advised to stay in school. The Heisman Trophy winner decided to come out and is using it as motivation at the next level.
“I feel like, just because I got my grade, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to be first round. I feel like what I do and how I test at the combine and work out. I feel like I will be first round. There’s no doubt in my mind that I won’t be. Nobody is going to outwork me. I’m going to push and work hard every day. I feel fee like hard work pushes you over the limit and makes you who you are. I’m going to work hard every day. Nobody is going to out-work me.”
The Crimson Tide running back lived in Leonard Fournette’s shadow for most of the year but broke out when Alabama beat LSU and Henry ran for 210 yards. Fournette was held to 31 and a new Heisman frontrunner was established.
Henry has work to do if he wants to be drafted in the first round. He is a downhill runner and needs touches to get going. He had a monster offensive line in front of him in Tuscaloosa and may struggle getting his footing as a rookie. He is a Heisman winner and will be given a chance to shine at the Combine and private workouts.
A team like the Titans might be the best fit for Henry. With an early second round pick Tennessee has a need for a running back after Bishop Sankey never materialized after getting drafted in the second round two years ago. Marcus Mariota will need pieces around him and two Heisman winners in the backfield could be a good thing for Titans fans.
Indianapolis might be another good fit. Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw can’t play forever and if Henry can get going the Colts running game going it would make life easier on Andrew Luck. The Colts pick at #18 in the first round and #49 in the second. It’s doubtful Indy would reach to get Henry in the first round but would hope he’d be there in the second when it was their turn to pick.
Dallas is another team picking very high in the second round that could get Henry. The Cowboys rushing game struggled without DeMarco Murray this year and the Bama running back could be the spark that gets Tony Romo and the offense going in 2016.
We’ll see how it plays out going forward. There is a lot of time for Henry to climb up the draft boards.