The Tennessee Titans select Alabama running back Derrick Henry with the No. 45 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
The Titans have been looking for a solution at running back for a long time, and Henry might fit the bill in conjuction with DeMarco Murray. Henry is primarily a north-south power back with very little agility and wiggle to his game, but few backs in recent years are better when it comes to blasting through tackles. The Heisman winner is a very productive player with some workload issues.
Strengths: Powerful, well-muscled player who breaks tackles fairly easily and consistently. Very hard to stuff, because he’s always running forward with an attack mentality. Smooth strider to and through the hole. Generally runs low for his height—pad level isn’t a consistent problem. Excellent vision to switch gaps and quickly find openings. Uses long legs to propel himself through trash, and sticks his foot in the ground when cutting and accelerates from angles with quickness and power. Doesn’t really have a burner gear downfield, but combination of musculature and stride speed makes up for it, and he’s not easy to bring down once he’s full-steam ahead. Expert at bouncing off first tacklers and picking up velocity in short areas to surge ahead. Excellent short-yardage and red-zone runner. Generally takes more than one guy to bring him down in a pile. Powerful blocking and nascent receiving ability make him a legitimate every-down back in the right offense. Doesn’t wear down in games—his last few carries in a game can be as punishing as his first few.
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Weaknesses: Henry isn’t a burner to the outside, and may find himself with issues getting past the NFL’s more varied fronts when he hits the edge. Needs to work on his balance when trying to shift and cut horizontally—he’s more a forward than sideways player. Opponents have learned that tripping him up and chopping are effective methods for stopping him behind the line of scrimmage; he could stand to pump his legs more to counter that. Narrow-framed running style, especially with his lower body. Workload is an obvious concern, especially in the 2015 season.