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Should the Redskins draft a second power running back?

Feb 23, 2016, 12:40 PM EDT

Derrick-Henry-stiffarm

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 65 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Derrick Henry
Running back
Alabama

source:

Height: 6-2
Weight: 242

Projected draft round: 2

What they’re saying

Bell-cow running back with an ability to strap on feedbag and eat for four quarters. Henry’s long legs and angular running style is a much better fit for downhill running teams who value lead backs and physicality. Henry needs early running room as he’s not a creator in the backfield, but once he gets up a full head of steam, he is a nightmare with his ability to punish on the second and third level or take it to the house. Henry should come in and provide immediate production as a starter.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: Starting a year ago all anyone on the Redskins wanted to tell you was that the Redskins were going to be a power running team, a physical bunch that would wear teams down. Well, we saw how that turned out with the team finishing 20th in rushing yards and 29th in average per carry. It just didn’t work.

The team is unlikely to make wholesale changes on the offensive line since the unit did a good job in pass protection. With Alfred Morris likely on his way out of town they will have a different running back and Henry could be just the guy.

The Heisman Trophy winner is big, physical, and powerful and has a good knack for finding a hole. If he gets through the line and into the second level, defensive backs fear for their lives. Henry is not a speed demon but he has good second and third gears when he gets some running room. The Redskins need a north-south runner and Henry is the best one of those in this year’s draft class.

Potential issues: The Redskins already have a big back in Matt Jones. They might be better off shopping for a more elusive back who is a home run threat from anywhere on the field. While

Some scouts are concerned that with 406 touches last year Henry may have more tread wear than they would like to see. His pass catching skills are a question mark; Henry caught just 17 passes in three years in Tuscaloosa.

Bottom line: The concerns that Henry was overworked at Alabama are overblown. He came into 2015 with just 207 carries. Sure, 406 touches in one season is a very heavy load but it shouldn’t have any long-term effects.

Scot McCloughan likes big players but does he want two big running backs? Jones had some flashes in his rookie 2015 season but he is very much a work in progress. He may never become a reliable front line player. If the opportunity to draft Henry comes along McCloughan could take a serious look.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

  1. abanig - Feb 23, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    No they have a power back. They need a change of pace back that’s bigger than Chris Thompson – like a Roy Helu – and Thompson can remain the scat back and a slot receiver/receiver out of the backfield

  2. ajbus1 - Feb 23, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    I think D-line and DB are bigger needs early in the draft but I would love if we got a guy like Henry. The combo of he and Jones, provided the run blocking improves, would give us a legit ability to ground-and-pound. Essentially Jones would be the change of pace with a sprinkle of Thompson.

  3. firesnyder - Feb 23, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    If you look at the 49ers from 2008 to 2010 when McCloughan was the GM, he went solely with power running back Frank Gore. There was a little DeShaun Foster and Brian Westbrook mixed in, but the vast majority of the carries were from Gore. So, if you see McCloughan draft another power RB in the 1st three rounds, that would tell me he has doubts about Matt Jones. When I watch Jones run, I see a few odd things. He runs upright and his arms and legs seem to flail more than other power running backs. I’m not sure if that is a balance issue or what, but I think he needs to correct it. If you compare Jones to Morris, Morris runs with much more balance. Anyway, just my thoughts…. I would like to see us get another RB because I’m not sure Jones is the answer.

    • Mr.moneylover - Feb 23, 2016 at 3:03 PM

      He don’t have doubt about matt Jones he just need to learn the rules of the NFL and he played two solid games before he go hurt…they will look to bring in a free agent RB to start just in case matt Jones not ready….but matt Jones said im gonna work hard this off-season like im gonna be the starter….matt Jones also said his body wasn’t use to the NFL level tackles he said its like man against boys its a big difference…I think all redskins rookies will comeback better…Preston smith had 8 sacks but didn’t start for most of the year that’s huge

  4. sidepull - Feb 23, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Dont forget about Silas Redd. I want to see him compete this year.

    • Mr.moneylover - Feb 23, 2016 at 2:50 PM

      I think Silas redd will compete with Chris thompson

  5. vtsquirm - Feb 23, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    far too many other needs to take a RB before the 5th or 6th round. I’d just as soon welcome back Pierre Thomas. True he is older, but he seemed to fit in really well in our offensive scheme. Plus he’d be cheap, playing on vet minimum contract most likely.

    • Mr.moneylover - Feb 23, 2016 at 2:53 PM

      I don’t see redskins drafting another RB this year I think they got they guy last year in matt Jones…I think they will be looking to bring in a free agent RB

      • sidepull - Feb 23, 2016 at 5:25 PM

        Still like PierreThomas.

  6. Mr.moneylover - Feb 23, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    If he’s there in the third round then yeah…Alfred morris is likely gone and we can’t depend on Chris Thompson to be healthy for a full season so they need a first down running back and a third down running back i think the safe route is to bring in a vet running back in free agency and let matt Jones compete for the starting job…the same problems matt Jones had coming out of college some if not most running backs have that same problem because they not use to the NFL and they don’t have the kinda body weight they need to last… Something like Jordan reed situation… Only draft a running back whose the backup or a third back and that’s what scot m. Did last year I seriously doubt he would draft a RB to start right away…I think he would go DE CB WR in the first three rounds depending on how the draft starts off

  7. bangkokben - Feb 23, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Give Tim Hightower a shot.

  8. msbinder - Feb 23, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    Compare Henry’s college stats with Matt jones stats. There is a big difference! I would not blink if the drafted him in the first. The Ohio st back too. I do like Matt a lot but he would probably be there 4th or 5th Rd. There were other factors but our running game was bad last. It would help out big time to have to big guys competing with each other. It would remind me of Eddie Lacy and James Sparks combination! Cousins could actually use play action. His high school career was like a video game on rookie level (over 4,000 yards in a season) and his college he won the Heisman trophy in college. Clemson was awesome last year and Bama would not have won national championship without him. I don’t understand why he is considered a 2nd Rd pick. Carolina will end up picking him up with their 1st pick and will end having the best offensive player of the year.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 23, 2016 at 5:17 PM

      In Matt Jones’ defense, the Gators under Will Muschamp were not awesome…certainly not like Alabama.

      In any case, if we are to use a high pick on an RB, I’d rather it be on the best RB in the draft, Ezekial Elliott.

      He can do it all, including run routes and catch passes with soft hands. Not to mention pick up blitzers, create yards when nothing is there, etc. Of course, that would be our 1st round pick, and only if he slips to 21 anywho.

      I still expect the best D.T. McGlue feels is on the board at 21.
      ~

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 23, 2016 at 5:18 PM

        Err, Ezekiel Elliott. Winged it, shoulda checked first.
        ~

  9. msbinder - Feb 23, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    I would love to draft a WR but I do not think that there is the depth at WR in this draft. There are two game changing backs that are first Rd talents. We were intentional in picking an olineman last year that had a reputation of being a mauler so maybe we should be intentional of getting stud power running backs.

  10. bangkokben - Feb 23, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    So Bruce Allen wishes #10 well and we’re still talking running backs? Okay. This year, I wouldn’t look for any long-term answers. i re-sign Chris Thompson and get a guy like Tim Hightower in and maybe draft a guy in round six or later. Let them compete with Jones and hope that Jones makes enough strides to look like the long-term answer. Get the run blocking in sync and pass the snot out of the ball.

    • colmac69 - Feb 23, 2016 at 5:42 PM

      Defense defense defense………until we get lot better on that front doesn’t really matter who running the ball……

      This offseason priority has to b defense….I would take the offense as it was in exchange for much improved defense……

      Until that unit improves drastically it won’t matter how gd our offense gets imo

      • bangkokben - Feb 24, 2016 at 8:34 AM

        Agreed.

  11. robert herrera - Feb 23, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    You want a power running back for the Redskins I suggest Kenyan Drake and Devon rockhead johnson. Check out their profiles and look at them on YouTube. They are very good and tough.

  12. James McFullan - Feb 23, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    Lamar Miller 5-10 225, elusive back who can also catch. Only 24 years old and only 638 rushing attempts in his career.

  13. Lex - Feb 23, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    Alex Collins

  14. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 23, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Robert Griffin III won’t be with Redskins next season, Bruce Allen says

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14831486/robert-griffin-iii-washington-redskins-next-season-bruce-allen-says

    Color me shocked. And stunned.
    ~

  15. smotion55 - Feb 23, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    We don’t need to draft this guy. way to early for a back with that many miles. Alabama backs that get hyped up early are not worth it. I would draft the other guy in their backfield later on with less mileage Kenyan Drake

    • robert herrera - Feb 24, 2016 at 6:07 PM

      What about rockhead johnson?

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