NFL Draft 2019: Darrell Henderson could solve Chiefs RB woes

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 01: Darrell Henderson #8 of the Memphis Tigers scores a touchdown during the first quarter of the American Athletic Championship against the UCF Knights during the first at Spectrum Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)+

Prospect profile for Darrell Henderson, running back from Memphis, who could be a dynamic weapon for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense.

Darrell Henderson was one of the well-kept secrets of the 2019 NFL Draft, until his absurd performance against UCF in the AAC championship game. This was the second standout performance against UCF for the Memphis Tiger running back, in 2017 Henderson eclipsed 100 yards rushing and added a touchdown on the ground in a losing effort.

After Kareem Hunt’s release, the Chiefs have found themselves facing a bare cupboard at running back for 2019. The only running back who has seen NFL action on the books for 2019 is undrafted free agent Darrell Williams.

Will the Chiefs look to the draft to fill the void at running back? If that is the case, the Chiefs should take a long look at Darrell Henderson from Memphis.

Here is a look at the strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit for Henderson in Kansas City.

Strengths

Darrell Henderson is a unique talent at running back. He is not the fastest guy on the field, and he is nowhere near the largest at 5’9 and 200 pounds. Despite not possessing the elite traits that most look for, Henderson managed over 2,000 scrimmages yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging a ludicrous 8.9 yards-per-carry for the Tigers in 2018.

Contact Balance: Say these words with me: contact balance. When evaluating any skill position player, but especially running back, these two words make a world of difference. Speed and size are great, but if you are knocked off course or taken down by the first contact with a defender you will not be long for the NFL. Thankfully for Henderson, he displays excellent contact balance. Not on the level of Kareem Hunt, who may have had the best balance I have seen in my short scouting career, but Henderson certainly has above average balance and it makes him special.

Vision:  This is a bit of a cliche observation, but vision is such an important part of a running backs skillset (See: Richardson, Trent). Henderson does an excellent job of seeing the hole as it develops and bursting through it, even when there is traffic clogging lanes he shows trust in his blockers and the play design. Henderson does not waste time dancing around behind the line of scrimmage. Henderson is decisive and quick to turn upfield and that has contributed to his greatly productive college career, that trend will likely continue into the pros.

Toughness: When you watch Darrell Henderson on film, it appears that someone forgot to inform him that he is smaller than everyone else out there. Henderson runs with great pad level and does not shy away from contact, often finishing runs on the boundary and picking up extra yardage with a solid pad-popping collision and hard running. Henderson’s legs do not stop churning until the whistle blows, and it is a rare sight to see him lose ground on any play.

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