Titans’ Derrick Henry calls Hassan Haskins ‘a beast’

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One of the more surprising picks the Tennessee Titans made during the 2022 NFL draft was the fourth-round selection of Michigan running back Hassan Haskins.

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t think the Titans could take a running back at all, just not that early and not before what we perceived were bigger needs, like tight end, which Tennessee would later address.

But the pick definitely makes sense. Derrick Henry is approaching the age of 30, and the Titans are likely hoping to take some of the load off his shoulders in the years to come.

When asked about his new teammate, Henry called Haskins “a beast” and was impressed with the 6-foot-2, 228-pound back’s size.

“I was excited when we got him,” Henry said, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. “Hassan is a beast. I was able to catch his game vs. Ohio State when he went off. Seeing him in person, he is a big dude, and he’s a solid dude. Seeing him [at practice], I can tell everything is coming natural to him. I just told him: ‘Don’t try to get too overwhelmed, just take it day by day.”

The game Henry is talking about saw Haskins go for 169 rushing yards and five scores — both career-highs — in a 42-27 victory over the Buckeyes in 2021.

Speaking of beasts, Henry is the definition of one with his massive 6-foot-3, 247-pound frame, powerful running style and underrated speed, all things Haskins raved about upon meeting Henry.

“He’s big. I thought I was pretty big but he’s a large guy, I’m not going to lie,” Haskins said, via Mickey Ryan of 104.5 The Zone. “It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that. He’s so big and so fast, it’s ridiculous.”

The Michigan product says he feels “way more confident” from where he was when the offseason program began, and he’s been wisely watching Henry for any knowledge he can soak up.

“I definitely watch him, all his moves,” Haskins said of Henry. “Just seeing how he is, how he handles himself. He’s a super-cool dude… I just want to keep picking his brain and keep getting better.”

Looking ahead to his rookie season, Haskins will be one of the backs who spells Henry, and the hope is that the rookie can thrive in that role and allow Henry to lessen his workload a bit, which could help extend his career.

However, the ultimate goal for Haskins is, of course, to become a starter. He isn’t sure when he’ll get his opportunity to do that, but having to work his way up the depth chart is nothing new for the 22-year-old.

“In college, I wasn’t starting right away — I had to work my way,” Haskins said. “Now, I have to do the same thing — I have to keep working each day. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be a couple of years, but I am going to keep working and get better to have a role on this team.”

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