Scouting Report | Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis


Personal Background

  • Played at South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi
  • Played with a chip on his shoulder in high school because he was told he was too small and didn’t deserve to be one of the Clarion Ledger’s ‘Dandy Dozen
    • The Clarion-Ledger chooses 12 athletes based on high school accomplishments and consultations with coaches and football minds around Mississippi.
  • Clinched the state title for South Panola High School his junior year on a 10-yard touchdown in overtime
  • Had offers from Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, Southeast Missouri, and Georgia State
    • Wants to “make people regret” not offering him
  • Served as a coach/instructor to 120 kids at the Pop Warner Skills Clinic in Atlanta during the Super Bowl
  • Training with Michael Johnson Performance in Mckinney, Texas

Athletic Background

Injury History


  • 38 career games
    • Led the nation in all-purpose yards, touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns (2018)
    • 4,302 All-purpose yards is second most in school history
    • The second-leading rusher in school history with 3,082 yards
    • Third in school history with 31 rushing touchdowns
    • Forty-four total touchdowns is second in school history


  • High School
    • 2014 Mississippi Gatorade Football Player of the Year
  •  College
    • First-team All American
    • Doak Walker semifinalist (Awarded to the top running back in College football)
    • Walter Camp semifinalist (Awarded to the player of the year)
    • Tenth in Heisman Trophy voting

Film Reviewed

  • 2018
    • Georgia St.
    • Houston
    • Missouri
    • Navy
    • SMU
    • Tulsa
    • UCF 2x (AAC championship game)


  • Year – Junior
  • Height – 5’9″
  • Weight – 200 pounds




Henderson’s evaluation was a fun one. The diminutive running back has very little tread on his tires, having touched the ball a total of 494 times over the course of three seasons, but he made every single one of those touches count. He was able to rack up 44 total touchdowns because he is simply a home run hitter. The deadly combination of speed and burst is really the basis for his entire game. At times, he can get lost behind the offensive line then dart out and take it the distance. His speed on outside zone and pin-and-pull sweeps makes life difficult on linebackers and safeties; not only do they have to worry about maintaining their gap, but they also have to worry about keeping the proper leverage on the speedster. If they overplay the outside run, he rounds off his track and gets north/south. If they underplay his pace, he can get to the perimeter and wheel down the sideline for the touchdown. It’s pretty amazing how often his speed and burst lead to really bad angles by defenders and subsequently a lot of arm tackles. Henderson is able to make explosive shoulder shakes and dekes while near or at top speed because they are not able to ‘square him up.’ Henderson was underutilized as a receiver, but I don’t think that was due to the lack of skills. If given touches on swing passes and screens, Henderson’s overall value will skyrocket.

But there are some questions marks, and those start with his build. He is short and on the lighter side, so at this point I don’t believe he is an every-down back. His reads as a runner are much cleaner on outside zone and pin-and-pull sweeps because he gets bogged down at or near the line of scrimmage waiting on pullers. And with the lack of creativity as a runner or upper tier strength or physicality of a prototypical back, he will struggle to break tackles of defensive linemen, especially if he doesn’t improve his off-hand usage. How good of a route runner or receiver Henderson is is also a question mark because he wasn’t asked to do it much. That is something that scouts will want to see from him prior to the draft. The same can be said about his pass protection skills. When he was in on passing situations and asked to block, he showed very little push-back to rushers due to play strength.

Overall, I believe Henderson is a late second-round pick, and he is going to be his team’s sparkplug — a guy that can come in on certain play calls and situations like zone runs, pitches, sweeps, and screens. These are situations where they are looking for chunk plays or some jump from the running back position. At Memphis, he excelled in zone and hybrid zone runs, and that will be his best fit at the NFL level. With his athleticism and home-run ability, he is going to be a great change of pace back for an offense.