NFL Hot Press: Wide Range in Draft Grades for Derrick Henry

Wide Range in Draft Grades for Derrick Henry

Updated Dec. 20, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy, and across the nation, it was unanimous that Henry had a tremendous season to carry the Crimson Tide to a SEC Championship and berth in the college football playoff. Henry was a bulldozer who provided the offense for a team that saw its talent get downgraded in the passing offense from last year. Despite Henry’s phenomenal year, there is a wide range of where he is talked about going in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Recently, there was an article with one former NFL scout saying he would grade Henry as a fourth-round pick. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quoted an anonymous NFL scout that had Henry as a definite first-round pick with Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott. Thus, we decided to reach out to sources at multiple teams to see how Henry’s draft grades were coming in. There wasn’t a consensus, but nobody had him as low as the fourth round.

Two teams said they graded Henry as a late first-round pick. They feel that his combination of power and speed makes him worthy of going on Thursday. They also said that this draft isn’t all that strong or talented, thus they feel that Henry’s instant impact and game-changing ability will be appealing to playoff teams looking for a player to help get them over the hump. Teams like Arizona, Carolina, and New England were said to be possibilities for Henry, according to sources.

Two other teams said they him as a second-round pick, and one national scout said they had him with a 2/3 grade (late second-round/early third-round).

A lot can change during the lead-up to the draft with the NFL Scouting Combine and pro day workouts. Sources said that Henry’s 40 time at the Combine will be very important. If he runs a slow time around 4.60, that is going to add some validity to the doubters. Entering 2016, there is a big range for Henry, and this debate could easily lead up to the day of the draft.

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