Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name – Darrell Henderson
2.) College – Memphis Tigers
3.) Height/Weight – 5’9”, 200
4.) Birthdate – 08/19/1997
5.) Class – Junior
6.) Basic college stats –
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Stats courtesy of sports-reference.com.
7.) NFL Draft round projection – Josh Jacobs has emerged as the early favorite to be the first runner off the board, though it is a complete mess after him. Henderson has settled into the second-tier of runners, and combines a round two ceiling with a day three floor. It is likely he settles somewhere in the middle; backs with his production and skill-set seldom fall out of round three.
8.) Current NFL comp – Henderson has more juice in his legs and figures to test far better, but I see a bit of Devonta Freeman in his game. Both Henderson and Freeman excel by being decisive at the line of scrimmage and utilizing good feet to create yardage at the second level. Also like Freeman, Henderson appears to be best served as leading a backfield with a running mate, as opposed to dominating backfield work.
9.) Best possible destination – There are a host of good, logical landing spots for running backs this year. I feel like I am taking the easy route here, but Kansas City stands out. Henderson’s versatile skill-set would mesh well with Andy Reid’s system, and walking into a loaded offense allows Henderson to be a complementary piece and not a featured one. Andy Reid backs are fantasy goldmines, and Henderson could thrive in his offense.
10.) Worst possible destination – The Miami Dolphins appear poised to go through a massive rebuild. While I consider this to be the right call and long overdue, any fantasy assets on the Dolphins deserve to be downgraded initially. I don’t think Henderson is poised to be the featured piece on a rebuild, and Miami also rosters the talented if enigmatic Kenyan Drake. Throw in the unknown of a new coaching staff, and I just could not be enthused about this landing spot. It seems unlikely a team tearing down its roster to build it back up spends a high pick on a running back, but it is not as though we’ve learned to trust the Dolphins’ brass.
11.) Best current skill – Balance: Henderson demonstrates the innate ability to shrug off tacklers like they’re queso slipping off a nacho. He squares his shoulder and avoids taking direct hits by utilizing his quick feet and impressive lower-body strength. It is a valuable skill in a runner and one Henderson shows in spades.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – Like most young backs, pass protection is an area which requires refinement. He also has work to do as a receiver. While Henderson shows all the skills to be an asset in this area, his receiving work at Memphis was limited to simple check-downs which gave him the opportunity to work in space. He will need to show he can thrive in the passing game to reach his ceiling.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – Henderson is currently going eighth overall according to DLF Mock Draft data. He’s the type of player whose value should vacillate quite a bit depending on draft slot. A soft landing into round two and into a great situation pushes him to the top five. A messy landing spot in rounds three or beyond could cause him to slide into round two or further.
14.) Projected dynasty value – When the dust settles, I expect Henderson to be the type whose buzz builds as the NFL Draft and Rookie Drafts approach. Any rookie back with a modicum of momentum figures to go highly in startups, and Henderson could push for a top-50 pick before long.
15.) Recruiting Profile – Henderson was a composite three-star recruit, per 247 Sports. Memphis was his best offer, with fellow Group of 5 teams such as Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee State getting consideration. It is safe to say Henderson vastly outperformed recruiting expectations.
16.) Yards Per Carry – 8.2. It is not Jarvis Landry’s yards per catch (cheap shot? I am okay with it). It is Darrell Henderson’s yards per carry. Not for a season, or a short stretch. For his career. Henderson was an unstoppable force and enters the NFL with a glowing production profile.
17.) Workload – Despite being one of the nation’s most productive runners, Henderson was never overworked at Memphis. He topped out at 214 carries in 2018, splitting backfield work. You can obviously use this fact to argue for or against the former Tiger, but there is little tread on his tires as he enters the league.
19.) Unanimous All-American – Nobody disputed Henderson’s greatness in 2018. He was voted unanimously as a first-team All-American.
20.) Added Weight – Currently listed at or just north of 200 pounds, Henderson clearly packed on some weight during his career. He was 175 as a recruit and for part of his collegiate career, showing the ability to add weight without losing his explosive traits. It is possible his frame is maxed out, though he’s well within range to be productive given his anticipated role.