With all the speculation regarding the health of Todd Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams managed to secure some quality depth by taking Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Henderson had been stashed away deep in the depth chart entering the preseason opener versus the Oakland Raiders. Regardless, he was still able to get his first taste of NFL action after toting six carries for 13 yards against Oakland.
The transition from college to the NFL can be a difficult one for most players. Fortunately, Henerson insists he is feeling rather comfortable heading into the 2019 NFL season.
According to Stu Jackson of the team’s official website, the rookie is doing what he can to keep his eye on the prize:
“It’s just football, it’s just a different level,” Henderson said. “You’ve still got to stay humble and stay focused. You’ve got to flush everything else and get your mind right.”
Henderson added that playing against the defense has helped prepare him for the speed of the game:
“I wouldn’t say it was faster, because from practice, seeing the defense fly everywhere and going against the Raiders, I think it kind of has slowed down for me,” Henderson said. “Seeing those guys fly around at practice, it’s difficult, you know? That defense is something serious.”
It is encouraging to see that Henderson does not appear to be flustered or overwhelmed with his transition to the pros. His comfortability will undoubtedly go a long way in helping him potentially establish an immediate role for himself this season.
Although the Rams have attempted to downplay any concern about the state of Gurley’s knee, they still put an emphasis on shoring up some depth behind him this offseason by re-signing Malcolm Brown and drafting Henderson. All signs point to these players taking on increased workloads in the backfield moving forward.
Henderson’s versatile skill set as both a runner and a receiver provide some major intrigue regarding where Sean McVay will decide to utilize him on offense. Of course, he will first need to prove that he can show some efficiency on a consistent basis.
After a modest outing against the Raiders, McVay has indicated that the rookie will likely see more touches as the regular season draws closer. It appears now is the time for Henderson to take that big leap from the bottom of the running back depth chart to possibly the No. 3, or even No. 2, option.