As part of theRams.com's coverage leading into this year's NFL Draft, we will be examining selections from the Top 100 in the Sean McVay era. The series continues with a look at running back Darrell Henderson.
Before joining the Rams...
Henderson became more involved in Memphis' offense as his college career wore on:
- As a freshman: 719 yards from scrimmage (482 rushing, 237 receiving) and eight total touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving, one kickoff return).
- As a sophomore: 1,380 yards from scrimmage (1,154 rushing, 226 receiving) and 11 total touchdowns (nine rushing, two receiving).
- As a junior: 2,204 yards from scrimmage (1,909 rushing, 295 receiving) and 25 total touchdowns (22 rushing, three receiving).
Besides establishing himself as a running back capable of making plays in the passing game, he also earned a reputation as one of the most explosive players in college football. He averaged 8.9 yards per rushing attempt as a sophomore and junior, and his rushing total of 1,909 in 2018 was second nationally to Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, who had 2,194.
Henderson's strong junior season also coincided with First Team All-American honors from the Associated Press as well as First Team All-Conference USA honors. He was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the most outstanding running back in the country, along with Taylor and Clemson's Travis Etienne.
After a decorated three years at Memphis, Henderson declared for the NFL Draft and later received a Round 2-3 projection from NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein. Another NFL Media analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, regarded Henderson as one of the Top 100 prospects in the 2019 class.
Eventually, that pedigree led to the Rams scooping up Henderson in the third round with the No. 70 overall pick.
Though he saw limited action across the 13 games he appeared in, Henderson still showed he could be a valuable contributor to the Rams' offense and special teams.
At running back, Henderson finished with 39 carries for 147 yards, adding four receptions for 37 yards. The bulk of that production came in Weeks 6, 7 and 8 when he stepped into the No. 2 running back role after Malcolm Brown, the primary backup to starter Todd Gurley, injured his ankle against the 49ers in Week 6 and missed the next two games.
Henderson tallied 11 carries for 40 yards against the 49ers, then 11 for 31 plus one reception for nine yards against the Falcons in Week 7. Week 8 produced Henderson's best outing of the season: 11 carries for 49 yards and two receptions for 20 yards against the Bengals in London.
When starting kick returner JoJo Natson landed on injured reserve in early December, Henderson took over those duties and averaged 19.3 yards on three returns.
Following Gurley's release, Henderson could potentially take on an expanded role in the Rams' backfield in 2020.