2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Darrell Henderson
School: The University of Memphis
Projection: Day 2
Despite his frame, Henderson runs with good power. That is to say, he will lower the shoulder and run a linebacker over, if necessary. While he does not look for contact, Henderson will not shy away from it either. As a result, defenders often appear stumped when approaching. Granted, 5’9” and 210 may not appear like a handful. Yet, Henderson will manage to find daylight. Luckily, Memphis properly used Henderson. His gamebreaking style comes with little wear and tear.
For all of Henderson’s unique attributes, his elusiveness assists him more with each game. Due to the Tigers’ issues along the offensive line, Henderson encountered blockers in the backfield. To his credit and the help of quick cuts, he eluded many defenders behind the line. Moreover, when he gets into the wash, Henderson will utilize a subtle cut. While not as pronounced, these small movements create extra daylight, allowing for an escape. Henderson will also use a spin to slide off arm tackles from defensive backs.
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In college football, the term “home run hitter” gets overused. On the other hand, Henderson can go the distance with every carry. If you look at Henderson’s speed in parts, you can grab the total picture. Henderson reaches top speed in a hurry. With no wasted motion or false steps, his streaks downfield. When he gets to the second level, if a defender does not slow him, Henderson will score. The ability to get to the second and third level quickly jumps off the screen.
In Memphis’ attack, Henderson will catch the swing passes out of the backfield. In contrast, scouts should watch him on the vertical roués or slots where he looks comfortable in the passing game. Henderson makes sound grabs, without double catching or bobbling.
With Marshawn Lynch’s status unclear, the Raiders need to solidify their running game. In addition, Doug Martin looks like a one and done. Oakland needs quality talent in the backfield. While it seems like Gruden remains a Jalen Richard fan, Oakland may need to overpay to retain him. Under those circumstances, a player like Henderson provides an immediate upgrade. First, he is faster, quicker, stronger and a better receiver than Richard at the same point. Second, he will cost much less. Henderson gives the Raiders a change of pace option with the ability to carry the ball on early downs as well. If Oakland remains high on Chris Warren, the combo, with Jalen Richard, at a hometown discount gives the Raiders a young trio that they have no enjoyed in years.