Over the last two years, the running back position has been critical for Los Angeles’ offensive success — particularly the strength of 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley.
But to add another explosive player to that position, Los Angeles drafted Darrell Henderson out of Memphis at No. 70 overall during the spring. Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry over his last two collegiate seasons, and forced a total of 44 touchdowns in his three-year career.
Considering what he did at that level, Henderson certainly has a lot of talent. But as passing game coordinator Shane Waldron said during the offseason program, there’s also plenty for him to learn now that he’s reached the league.
“For Darrell, just like any other rookie, he’s got a lot to learn as far as building a foundation of the system in his own mind — not just in one particular area. And he’s done a great job picking it up and he’ll do nothing but grow as training camp gets here as well,” Waldron said.
Henderson has been described as a “change-of-pace” back, someone who can come in and perhaps do some things a little differently than Gurley or Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles’ primary backup. But that’s the case for most of that room, which also includes Justin Davis, John Kelly, and undrafted rookie Matt Colburn.
“I think just in general with our group of backs, we have a lot of guys that have a bunch of great traits and some of them a little different from others,” Waldron said. “If you want to call it a change-of-pace back — I mean, I see them all as great running backs. And certain guys have skill sets that are a little better at one thing than another thing.”
“But the great thing about our room with Todd and Malcolm, the guys that have been here, with John and Justin, you know you have a great group of guys that can do a little bit of everything. Then you add Darrell to the mix and just like anything else it adds great competition into a room that already has some great talent in there, and then Matt came in there this season in the offseason as well. So it’s a good room and coach [Skip] Pete has done a great job with those guys as well, just as far as developing them in all aspects of the game.”
Given all Henderson could bring to the offense, Los Angeles’ running backs should be fun to watch during training camp at UC Irvine.