Minutes after news broke that Derrick Henry will enter the 2016 NFL Draft, analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., threw a wet blanket on the Heisman Trophy winner’s pro prospects.
“Henry doesn’t have enough wiggle and change of direction to attract maybe first-round, maybe even second-round interest,” Kiper said on a conference call Thursday. “He’s a build-up-speed guy, he’s not that initial-quickness-through-the-hole type of player that you need for the NFL.
“So I would take Henry for third round. Maybe second.”
That’s a much different projection than the “first-to-second round” tag fellow ESPN analyst Todd McShay provided last month.
“It’s hard to look at what he’s done this year and think there’s anything more that he can do,” McShay, who ranked Henry as the No. 2 running back available, said. “The guy’s been an absolute workhorse. Love his competitiveness. Just carrying that football team when it needed to be carried. Everyone in the gym knew he was getting the ball, and he still was able to churn up yards.”
Despite Henry’s low grade, Kiper doesn’t have it out for Alabama; he put four Crimson Tide players in the Top 20 of his Thursday mock draft.