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.