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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Alabama RB Derrick Henry upset with second-round draft grade

Cedric Mason-Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Even after having a ground-breaking season and winning a national championship, Alabama running back Derrick Henry still has a chip on his shoulder. He was the first Crimson Tide junior to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft, yet Henry was not happy with the second-round grade he received.

Henry, 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, was Alabama’s heart and soul on offense this season, totaling 2,219 rushing yards with 28 touchdowns on 398 carries. He was clutch against elite competition with ten 100-yard games and four 200-yard performances. He earned every award imaginable, yet draft experts are hesitant in coining him a professional success because his predecessor, Trent Richardson. Richardson and Henry are both physical specimens. Both left Alabama on a high note; however, the NFL has not been kind to Richardson.

He was on three different teams in four to five years and is now hoping for another chance as a free agent.

Henry has more vision, footwork and speed than Richardson, becoming the first back in Southeastern Conference history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season despite having an inconsistent offensive line. Ryan Kelly held his own at center, but this year’s group lacked continuity versus Richardson’s offensive line in 2011 that had three All-Americans in Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker.

Henry ended the season passing Crimson Tide legend Shaun Alexander for first place all-time in rushing yards with 3,591. Alexander totaled 3,565 career rushing yards from 1995-99.

Whatever the case may be behind Henry’s second round status, the Heisman winner will look to prove doubters wrong as he vows to be a first round pick when April 28 rolls around.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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