Breaking Down Derrick Henry and Devontae Booker

Derrick Henry – RB – Alabama Henry is a third year junior and one year starter who by all accounts may enter the 2016 NFL Draft. He played as a backup as a true freshman in 2013, rotated with the starter in 2014 and is the primary starter in 2015. In 2014 he ran for 990 yards on 172 carries and 11 touchdowns. He also had 5 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. To date this year he has run for 1526 yards and 21 touchdowns and has caught 10 passes for 97 yards. Size – 6026 – 240 – 4.55 (all estimates) Strong Points – Huge man with great strength and power. Has good vision and instincts and shows the ability to create. Good cutback runner. Runs with lean and can move the pile. Consistently gets the tough yards in short yardage situations. Can and will break long runs. Can be extremely difficult to bring down in the open field because of his size and power. A reliable pass receiver with good hands. Is a good pass blocker. Durable, not a fumbler. Plays in an NFL style offense at Alabama. Weak Points – He is a semi-strider who is not all that quick or explosive to the hole. Has a false step before going forward. While he can make some quick cuts, he is not all that elusive. Needs to get and keep better positioning when pass blocking. In recent years, many Alabama backs have not played up to their potential in the NFL. Summation – Henry is a different kind of back in that you don’t see a back with his size and overall athleticism that often. While he is not explosively quick, he is very strong and gets excellent production as both an inside and outside runner. While you don’t see a burst while underway, he is deceptively fast and breaks a lot of long runs at the college level. He is a punishing runner who gets better as the game goes on because of his size and strength. Will wear a defense down. He is reliable as a receiver who will need to work on his pass routes to become a good receiver at the next level. While he is a very willing blocker, he will also need to work on his positioning and technique. Overall, he is the type of back that can come in and play right away in the right scheme and be very effective. Devontae Booker – RB – Utah Fifth year senior and a junior college transfer. Started out at American River College in 2011 and played there two years. Just went to school and did not participate in football in 2013 while trying to get his grades in order. Played at and started at Utah in both 2014 and 2015. In 2014 he ran for 1512 yards, caught 43 passes for an additional 306 yards and scored a total of 12 touchdowns. In 2015 he has run for 1261 yards and has 37 receptions for 318 yards. He also has scored 11 times. In game 10 versus Arizona he tore his meniscus and had surgery. He will miss the remainder of the season. Is older and will be a 25 year old rookie. Size – 6000 – 212 – 4.49 (all estimates) Strong Points – Very good athlete with speed, a burst, change of direction, balance and body control. Has been very productive in a good conference. Though he has a false step he is quick to the hole and has excellent vision and instincts. Has jump cut and cutback skills to go along with very good creativity. Can stop and go and has an excellent short area burst. Gets to full speed very quickly. Patient and effective both inside and out. Can make himself small in small spaces to get positive yards. While not overly powerful he stays low and gets yards after contact. Is a very good receiver and a willing blocker. Team Co-Captain. Weak Points – Doesn’t look to have the frame to get much bigger. Will need work on pass blocking technique. Is coming off knee surgery that will be closely looked at when he is at the Combine. Summation – Booker is a very productive two year starter at Utah. While he is not the biggest back, he is strong and consistently gets yards after contact at the college level. He is effective as both a runner and a receiver and has the vision and elusiveness to break some long runs. Because he lacks great size, I don’t see him as a bell cow type back in the NFL, but he can be very effective in a rotation if he gets 15-20 touches a game as both a runner and a receiver. Can be a playmaker in that type of roll. The team medical staffs will look closely at his knee surgery to make sure there are no arthritic conditions. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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