In Derrick Henry's first full season as the lead running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide, he broke team and NCAA records while winning the Heisman trophy and a national championship. The running back proved every bit the offensive threat and the workhorse player that will carry nicely to the NFL. As a junior, Henry has announced he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft with plenty of teams interested in acquiring him.
According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Henry will enter the NFL Draft. The announcement comes less than a week after he put up 158 yards and three touchdowns in the national championship against Clemson while rushing for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns in his junior year. According to ESPN's Todd McShay, Henry is not expected to be the first running back off the board as many believe Ezekiel Elliott will get that nod, but regardless, the Crimson Tide star will have plenty of attention. Where does he fit the best?
The Dallas Cowboys are a likely fit for Henry. The team did not do well replacing DeMarco Murray. After a season-ending injury to Lance Dunbar and the release of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden put up a nice season, but it was not enough to get wins. Henry has proven he can handle a heavy workload and be productive while doing it. He has the same style of running as Murray did and would fit perfectly behind Tony Romo.
The Houston Texans could be an option. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans will part ways with Arian Foster in order to free up salary cap space. That leaves them with Alfred Blue who had a nice season season in the league, but Henry could be view as the upgrade.
Other options for Henry could come about following free agency. The New England Patriots will lose LeGarrette Blount to the market. The Miami Dolphins will lose Lamar Miller. The Buccaneers will lose Doug Martin. Any of those three teams could opt to draft a running back rather than sign someone that might be demanding a larger contract. Henry along with Elliott have been deemed NFL ready and could make an impact right away.
Former Alabama and NFL running back Trent Richardson is hopeful his former teammate can make a big impact in the league. Richardson spoke with Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart on "Outkick The Show" and said that as long as he focuses on football and nothing else, he should be fine.
I think [Henry] can be a great running back," said Richardson via FOXSports.com. "He just needs to stay level-headed. Make sure he doesn't have the wrong people around, because that can eat you up real fast. That can eat you up real fast having the wrong people around you. Most of the time it's not about the person playing football, but the people that's around him. You just got to be smart about the situation that you're in. Football-wise, he's a great running back because he works hard."