The Denver Broncos used a sixth round draft pick on De’Angelo Henderson, AKA ‘Hop’, and got themselves a playmaker at RB. What NFL stud does he compare to?
De’Angelo ‘Hop’ Henderson has quickly become one of my favorite Denver Broncos draft picks. With seemingly no running backs left on the board in a deep draft at the position, the Broncos pulled off what I believe to be one of the best value picks in the draft when they got the former Coastal Carolina star.
Henderson is a compactly built running back at 5-foot-7, 209 pounds. Those types of running backs are uncommon size-wise, especially when you pair that kind of height and bulk with 4.48 speed. That is exactly the skill-set Henderson possesses, but it’s more than just his size that really reminds me of a guy who is currently playing at a very high level in the NFL. This scouting report reminded me a lot of Henderson, and it might remind you of someone else…
That scouting report was written ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft about Florida State running back Devonta Freeman, who is very nearly the spitting image of new Broncos running back De’Angelo Henderson.
One element of Henderson’s game that is missing from Freeman’s? Exceptional timed speed. Freeman ran a 4.58 at the 2014 Scouting Combine, while Henderson ran the aforementioned 4.48.
Of course, there are reasons more than just playing at a small school that landed Henderson in the sixth round. He has carried the ball a ton, will be a bit older as an NFL rookie, and there’s always a worry about size and durability from some scouts.
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However, when I watched Henderson, his physicality for his size and quickness between the tackles reminded me a lot of Freeman. He needs to work on eluding defenders more often than simply trying to run through them, which Freeman has seemingly mastered. But when it comes to physical makeup, quickness, agility, and the ability to make plays out of the backfield as a receiver, I think Henderson compares pretty favorably to Freeman.
Please don’t mistake this comparison for me saying that Henderson is going to step into the NFL and set the world on fire as the ‘next’ Devonta Freeman. I simply think that coming out of college, these two players have similar traits and physical makeup, and therefore, if developed properly, I think Henderson has a chance to be a very successful professional.
One thing I love about smaller running backs with strong lower bodies — they are usually a lot harder to tackle. Henderson’s quickness and deceptive power work doubly in his favor because he’s hard to locate initially behind massive offensive linemen, and his straight line speed allows him to patiently wait for a hole to open up, and explode to the second and third level of defense.
Not unlike Mr. Freeman.
I see Henderson becoming one of the top value picks for the Broncos this year in a draft full of them. He could make an impact sooner rather than later.