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Leading up to the NFL Draft April 28, Brad Evans and Liz Loza will crouch down, explode off the snap and tackle pressing questions about some of this year's most prominent prospects. Wednesday's topic: Alabama RB Derrick Henry.
Frankenstein in nature, Henry is a physically imposing specimen (6-foot-3, 247-pounds) similar in style and substance as former Giant Brandon Jacobs. A classic downhill runner with excellent speed for his size (4.54 40-yard) and intimidating power (60.2 YAC% in '15), he has game-breaking appeal despite underwhelming lateral agility and questionable hands. Projected to land anywhere from Round 2 to Round 4 in the NFL Draft, the much-debated rusher is essentially an early-70s, metal-fortress Buick in an era dominated by multifunctional vehicles. What team(s) do you see as best fits?
Liz – Dallas is an obvious landing spot. Henry's straight-line speed and bullish power could thrive behind the 'Boys much lauded line. If Carson Wentz falls or the team's front office decides to focus on defensive tackle in the first round, there's a good chance they'll jump on Henry in the second with the 34th overall pick. It might be more prudent to wait and snag Jordan Howard later, but patience doesn't seem to be one of Jerry's best traits. Personally, I like Henry in the Big Apple. The Andre Williams experiment is just about over, and the G-Men could use some thunder. Henry's clock-gobbling skill set could add balance to a team that called the fifth most passing plays in 2015.
Brad – Any power-schemed team in the market for a runaway train – Dallas, Baltimore, Cleveland, NY Giants, Indy – will think long and hard about investing in Henry. He's yoked and can explode off the edge, but his lengthy frame, upright running style and lack of versatility do raise red flags. Despite his brutish musculature, he isn't the most adept pass-blocker. Most worrisome, parked cars possess more elusiveness than the Heisman winner evidenced in his near bottom barrel 3-cone performance. Though he forced 76 missed tackles in 2015, many of those came on second-level runs against undersized DBs unwilling to engage. NFL corners and safeties will not exhibit a similar skittishness. Bottom line: He's a one-dimensional, early-down runner who may be LeGarrette Blount '15 at his peak.
Fill in the blank. Henry will land in the Round __-__ range in 12-team drafts and finish around No. ___ among fantasy running backs this fall.
Liz – If Henry goes to Dallas his ADP is going to skyrocket, potentially vaulting him to the sixth round of fantasy drafts. That’s way too high. A more levelheaded projection would place him between rounds 7 and 9. On the right team – as the lone power back – I think he has RB3 appeal. Let’s say RB32 overall.
Brad – 8-10; RB46 (in points per game average). Name chasers will overpay for his services based on his superb collegiate production. However, don't be that person. He has a legitimate shot at 4-6 scores in a healthy offensive environment, but his value is almost exclusively limited to TD-heavy, non-PPR formats.
Fearless Forecast. Predict a stat line for Henry in his rookie season (ATTS-RSHYDS-REC-RECYDS-TDs).
Liz – 158 attempts, 612 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns
Brad – 147 attempts, 599 rush yards, 7 receptions, 38 receiving yards, 4 total touchdowns