Two weeks before the NFL Draft, Darrell Henderson enjoyed a rare moment of peace when he wasn’t flying to meet various teams.
He had just finished an autograph signing at TNC Sports in Bartlett and was surrounded by cousins, his sister Jerrica and uncle Kelvin Holmes. They took turns cracking jokes and play fighting as two of Henderson’s younger cousins chased each other.
His cousin Bobby Sanford took a picture of Henderson and a friend, but the photo came out upside down. Henderson laughed while he grabbed the phone, showing him how to rotate the picture right side up.
For those used to Henderson as a soft-spoken running back, it was a side he rarely showed in public. The laughter and ease around those closest to him allowed him to relax before his life changes this week.
“You only got one family and you got to enjoy them while you’re here so I try to spend as much time with them as possible,” said Henderson, a projected third-round pick in this week’s NFL Draft in Nashville. “They keep me motivated.”
Former Memphis running back Darrell Henderson poses with several family members after completing his Pro Day at Memphis. On Henderson’s immediate left is his cousin Bobby Sanford and to his right is cousin Patrice Shipp and uncle Kelvin Holmes. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Henderson family)
“My dad was very strict on me and he wouldn’t let me hang around certain people that he felt would threaten me,” Henderson said. “He put us in the house and had me working and cutting grass for him.”
The elder Henderson worked during the day and when he came home, he took Darrell Jr. as he worked in neighbor’s yards. It gave his son the work ethic he needed when he was told he was too small at 5-foot-8 to be a star running back.
Darrell Henderson played for the Batesville Steelers in the Youth Football League in his native Mississippi. During one season, he ran for over 2,000 yards and led his team to the YFL championship
Memphis running back Darrell Henderson (middle) fights for positive yards against the Tulsa defense during action in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, November 10, 2018. (Photo: Mark Weber, The Commercial Appeal)
“I told him they’re moving you around to make you more flexible for the offense,” Holmes recalled.
Norvell had high expectations for Henderson. After the two met along with then-running backs coach Darrell Dickey, who helped recruit him with Fuente’s staff, Henderson was even more confident that Memphis was where he needed to be.
As things stand at the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills will first select ninth overall with 10 picks in total. If things hold there, the team could have plenty of options to consider when turning in their selection cards.
During the run to up to the draft which starts on April 25, BillsWire will compile information on prospects the Bills could have interest in. Specifically, what scouting reports say about their game.
Next up in our prospect previews is running back Darrell Henderson. Here’s a rundown of the what the experts are saying about his game:
Despite Darrell Henderson receiving heavy praise for being one of the top running backs from the 2019 NFL Draft class, the Los Angeles Rams weren’t really considered a strong landing spot for the Memphis star.
With the No. 31 pick in the first round after falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53, most football fans rightfully assumed that Los Angeles would focus on one of their top needs with the selection, whether it was the offensive line or somewhere on defense.
After all of the drama surrounding Gurley’s lack of impact during the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, it was discovered this offseason the former Georgia star was dealing with arthritis in his one knee, which explains a lot.
The Rams have already made it clear they would be taking a different approach with Gurley in 2019 to make sure his knee wasn’t overworked too much, but also just because the team will be taking a different approach doesn’t eliminate any concerns.
Talent wise, Henderson is one of the top prospects at running back for a reason since the 22 rushing touchdowns recorded in his final season with the Tigers gives him all sorts of NFL potential.
No matter how great Gurley has been for the Rams’ offense over the years, even he knows the team will need to do whatever it takes to put them in the best position possible to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2019.