Is RB Todd Gurley II still the workhorse for the Los Angeles Rams?
As the selection of RB Darrell Henderson with the 70th overall pick makes waves throughout the NFL, this is the question that will become the narrative for the rest of the offseason and will most likely linger on through the preseason and into the regular season.
How much does Henderson’s arrival affect Gurley’s role going forward?
For those familiar with him at Memphis, Darrell Henderson’s resume is very impressive. He was 2nd in Division I last season with 1,446 yards rushing despite having the 39th-most carries. He tied for the lead with 20 touchdowns. If Gurley wasn’t the face of the Rams’ franchise and has a massive contract that was signed only a year ago, this move would be the indication that the running game will be a two-headed monster.
But instead, the monster is going to be this story going into training camp.
The LA Rams had depth issues with the offensive line and could definitely use some more big bodies on the defensive line as well. More pass rushers would be cool too. Instead, they spent a third-round pick for a position where the Rams already have RB Malcolm Brown and RB John Kelly providing backup for Gurley. Curious and curiouser.
#Rams matched #Lions offer sheet to Malcolm Brown, then traded UP for str8 baller Darrell Henderson, whose 8.2 yards-per-carry average in 2018 tied for the highest in NCAA Division-I history since 1956.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) April 27, 2019
As fans argue whether this is an overreaction to the severity of the injury to Gurley’s knee, there is another significant narrative that is amplified by this pick: the Rams don’t seem to have any confidence in RB John Kelly.
If the front office believes that John Kelly’s performance in the preseason last year wasn’t a fluke, they sure as hell are hiding their enthusiasm. Only a year ago, we were under the impression that the Rams got a steal with John Kelly in the sixth round of the draft. But now, he could very well find himself on the practice squad.
Should Rams fans panic with the implication that Gurley’s knee is trash and his contract will end up becoming the force that closes the team’s Super Bowl window? No. Calm down. Seriously. It’s April.
The idea that the Rams come out next season with a running back by committee that is stocked with rushers that can make an impact is a great one, not if it’s incredibly potent and puts points on the board.
Darrell Henderson averaged a crazy 6.16 years after contact last year at Memphis. This is good news, people. The dude is gonna eat.
I will admit that I’m a bit concerned about the depth of the offensive line, which could have used some love at this pick. The Rams were able to get a tackle in Bobby Evans at the end of the third-round, so maybe this is all just white noise. I can already hear the argument by Rams fans at the bar: “That Henderson pick doesn’t mean there’s concern with Gurley, they picked him because there’s concern about John Kelly.” (I might try this weekend. I’ll let you know how to goes.)
The biggest loser out of this situation will probably be fantasy football owners. The odds that Todd Gurley will get 300+ carries next season wasn’t great before this pick happened and it probably won’t help. But who cares if the team is winning games, right?
While Rams fans wonder if there is truly bad news regarding Todd Gurley’s knee, they can at least sleep at night knowing the team isn’t ignoring the problem.
Welcome to the team, Darrell!