The Rams' running backs room is a talented and competitive place. Led by 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, there's a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns in coming from one position.
Malcolm Brown emerged as a strong second option out of the Rams' backfield. And now Los Angeles may have a third in rookie running back Darrell Henderson.
The third-round pick out of Memphis averaged 8.9 yards per carry in each of his last two collegiate seasons on a combined 344 attempts -- a testament to the blocking in front of him but Henderson's talent as well. It will certainly take some work to translate that to the game's highest level, but based on what Henderson showed without pads during OTAs and minicamp, there's plenty of reason to believe he can do it.
But getting integrated into the league is a process -- something that Gurley recognizes. And that's why he told Henderson not to be afraid to make mistakes during the offseason program.
"Just something I just learned," Gurley said during minicamp. "It's OK to make mistakes, but if you keep making them over and over, then nine times out of 10 you just can't get it. The only way [young players] are going to learn a lot of stuff is by experiencing it. And when you experience it you are either going to pass the test or you're going to fail the test and it's just about how you respond and come back from it the next time."
"Yeah, [I just told] him, go out there and don't be afraid," Gurley continued. "If you make a mistake, you make a mistake, but at the end of the day at least you know what you learned from and you can be able to come back the next day and bounce back from there."
While "don't be afraid to make a mistake" may be the headline-grabber there, if you parse Gurley's words, the message really is, "you can make a mistake, but you better correct it." That's the important aspect of learning, and it's how Henderson will be able to see the field sooner than later as a rookie -- with the potential to be a particularly explosive player in Los Angeles' scheme.