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TreVeyon Henderson draft profile

Not Right, Wide Left

Before we talk about Ohio State RB, TreVeyon Henderson, I want to talk about Chad Ryland, the kicker for the Patriots. This is how his stats compare with the Rams kickers:

Ryland 66.7% FGs made

Havrisik 71.5% FGs made

Maher 73.9% FGs made

Rams kickers combined 73.3% FGs made

FG percentage is sometimes skewed by how many long attempts you have vs chip shot attempts, so let's look at medium range kicks, 30 to 49 yards.

Ryland 8 out of 12, 66.7% made

Rams kickers 12 out of 16, 75% made

In other words, considering the mediocre kicking by the Rams (that cost Maher his job), it is a wonder that Chad Ryland is still the kicker for the Patriots. They just lost to the NYG, 10-7, and in that game Ryland had a very short 35 yard FG at the end of regulation to force OT, but missed the kick wide left.

Several draft experts considered Ryland to be the top kicker in the 2023 draft. Bill Belichick and the Pats drafted Ryland in the 4th round, at slot 112. I didn't consider Ryland to be a draft worthy K. The 2023 draft was wild, with seemingly off the wall decisions made by so many different NFL teams, as if they were just randomly drawing names out of a hat.

Brett Maher is currently a street FA. Currently, it looks like the Pats would have been better off just grabbing a random kicker off the street than drafting Ryland in the 4th round. What was Belichick thinking? Ryland's biggest contribution might have been to lose the NYG game, potentially helping the Pats get a higher draft slot in 2024 (they currently are in the 3rd spot, ahead of the Giants, who are in 6th position. I wonder if Giants fans are angry that their team won.)

Where does PFF have TreVeyon Henderson ranked on their big board? He's the 112th overall prospect, the exact same draft slot where Ryland was taken.

Background

Name: TreVeyon Henderson. Turns 22 years old in October of 2024.

School: Ohio State. True Junior. Finance major.

Size: Listed 5'10'' tall, 212 pounds. 4.39 (40 time) per NFLDB. 4.48 (40 time) per NFLDraftScout.

5 star recruit from Virginia. The top RB recruit in the country and the 23rd overall recruit, per 247 sports. Listed 195 pounds as a recruit. His senior season in HS was cancelled due to covid, but he still had over 4,000 career rushing yards. 2019 Gatorade POY in his state, 2 time state football champ. Reported 10.94 second time in 100 meters in track and 6.45 seconds in 55 meters. Enrolled early at OSU in January of 2021. His HS recruiting profile projected him to be a future 1st rd NFL draft pick with Christian McCaffrey as the comparison.

2021 (13 games): 183-1,248-15 rushing, 6.8 average, 27-312-4 receiving, 1 fumble

2022 (8 games): 107-571-6 rushing, 5.3 average, 4-28-1 receiving, 1 fumble

2023 (9 games): 137-854-11 rushing, 6.2 average, 19-229 receiving, 0 fumbles

Got injured in 3rd game of 2022 season (left foot) and said he had torn ligaments and broken bone in his foot. Struggling for much of that season, he had season ending surgery and didn't play in the CFP game vs Georgia. Missed 3 games in 2023 due to undisclosed injury.

Josh Edwards (CBSSports) 60th overall prospect

PFF board 8th RB, 112th overall (4th round)

PFN board top RB, 34th overall

Luke Easterling not included in 3 round mock draft

Draftwire mock draft not selected in 2 round mock draft

Shane Hallam mock draft 89th overall, late 3rd round

NFLMDD top RB, 64th overall

BillsFambase 55th overall

Steve Shoup (fanspeak) 74th overall

Henderson is ranked high enough on PFN to potentially be a late 1st round pick, but low enough on PFF to possibly slip into the late 4th round. Logan Bruss was ranked 111th on PFF's final big board in 2022, one slot higher than Henderson. Brian Robinson Jr. was only 146th on PFF's board (a 5th rd pick), but in the actual draft he was a compensatory 3rd rd selection. The lower you get on the board, it becomes increasingly difficult to predict where a player might get picked (or even if they'll get picked at all.)

Strengths

Very good ball security. Tucks ball high and tight, and in traffic covers up the point of the ball with his off hand. Only 2 fumbles on 477 career carries, an excellent ball security rate.

Explosive burst through the hole and open field juice to pull away from defenders to score long TDs.

Great patience, allows blocks to develop, then accelerates through openings. Quick feet.

Has aggression and physicality in his running style. Direct, north and south style. Decisive, one cut running style, suited for zone scheme teams. Doesn't have false steps or wasted movement. Experienced with wide zone run plays.

Slalom skier, can made sublte cuts to get through holes and dance away from tackles near the LOS without losing much speed.

Confident hands catcher. Can turn over his shoulder to catch in the flat and bring in passes away from his body.

Useful on routes that use his speed, such as wheel, corner routes and screen passes. Sometimes lined up in slot or split out wide.

Scans appropriately in pass pro. Good job identifying blitzes multiple plays. Displayed hustle and effort as run blocker.

Played in pro style system vs power conference opponents.

Henderson's stats in 2021 stack up well vs other top Ohio State RBs. In 2019, JK Dobbins had over 2,000 rushing yards, with a 6.65 ypc average. Ezekiel Elliott's best year at OSU was 2014, when he had a 6.88 average (his ypc was lower his final season.) While Hendo didn't have as many total rushing yards (because he didn't have as many attempts), his 6.82 ypc in 2021 was higher than Dobbins's number and nearly as high as Zeke's best mark.

Early entrant who would be about a year younger than an average prospect.

Weaknesses

Medical report is critical. I'd be nervous drafting a RB with a serious or chronic foot problem. Why hasn't he been healthy for the last 2 seasons and what is his prognosis for the future? Is it just temporary or is he at risk of "breaking" his rookie year? Hard to grade him without this info, because he could get "flunked" due to medicals and get sent to the UDFA pile.

Jekyll and Hyde aspect the more you watch of him in 2022 and 2023. When healthy, he's very explosive, worth drafting somewhere in the first 3 rounds. Other games, he's clearly limited by injury and looks more like an UDFA. This reminds me somewhat of Sean Tucker of Syracuse, though Henderson's ceiling was higher than Tucker's when Hendo was healthy. Tucker was ranked as a 2nd rd pick by some draft experts, but was an UDFA in the 2023 draft. Tucker plays for the Tampa Bay Bucs and has 23 yards on 15 carries, a 1.5 ypc average.

Too small. In terms of size, he's almost exactly the same as Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who played at Illinois and Vanderbilt and was a 3rd rd pick by the Bucs in 2020. At Vandy in 2018, Vaughn had 1,244 rushing yards at almost 8 yards per carry. Vaughn is a backup who has never had at least 200 rushing yards in any season of his 4 year career. He's fallen down the depth chart and out of favor that he's typically inactive on gameday for the Bucs this year. Henderson is a better prospect than Vaughn, but Vaughn illustrates how using a 3rd rd pick on a RB who was productive in college and broke big runs doesn't always translate to finding a starting NFL RB. Sean Tucker is one of the RBs competing with Vaughn on the Bucs depth chart. Rams fans complain about the disappointing 2020 picks, including Akers, Van Jefferson and Terrell Lewis, but is Vaughn any better than those picks? Vaughn might as well have been a 7th rd pick or UDFA for the Bucs, that's how much production they've gotten out of that selection. Just a depth guy to fill out the back end of the roster.

Doesn't have a muscular and thick build. Kyren Williams is a very small RB who was 194 pounds at the Combine, but I'm willing to bet that pound for pound, Williams is a stronger athlete than Henderson. One area where this shows up is in pass protection.

Repeatedly stoned and stuffed in short yardage situations. Lacks instincts for finding soft spot at LOS and knife between defenders, too often collides squarely into a tackle. Not able to move piles, finish runs by falling forward, or drag defenders for an extra yard. Lacks length, so he can't reliably extend the ball forward and fall forward to add an extra yard. Below average on short yardage plays. Not enough bulk and size to power home near the GL.

Game is overly dependent on speed. Doesn't display an effective stiff arm. Has tight hips relative to his smaller size. Not a jitterbug scat back. Can gash the defense when there are big holes opened up for him, but can he grind out yardage and create more difficult yards?

Not a rocket scientist in interviews. Angrily responded to social media criticism that questioned his toughness and performance. Ohio State has passionate fans, but sometimes you have to have thick skin as a player and ignore the outside noise.

Poor pass blocker, sometimes to the point of being nearly useless. Repeatedly run over in pass pro, small, no length or strength, with poor technique. Lunged forward into block. Poor anchor in protection. Saw LB blitz coming, but still completely steamrolled. Whiffs on chip blocks, weak even if he connects. Mental mistake, should see that OL is overloaded, but runs right past defender, allowing QB to get sacked. No pop vs CB blitz.

Has a Napoleon complex as a runner. What I mean by that is he has an odd habit of aiming directly for a defender and trying to run them over, even when there is space to angle to the side to avoid direct hits. Sometimes, he'll flex on them or yap at them after the play, like he's just proven his manhood and his toughness. I don't like this for a couple of reasons. First, he's leaving yards on the field. This can be particularly important when the first down marker or the end zone is just beyond the point of impact. He'll do this right at the GL, it looks like he has a chance to score a TD, because there is a bubble at the LOS and only 1 defender, but instead of finding a soft spot and angling away, the RB charges directly into the middle of the solo defender and gets stoned, stopped short. Second, he's taking huge collisions that are avoidable, exposing himself to injury risk. There's a time to be physical and aggressive, but I think a RB needs to have some judgment when to pick and choose his spots and also understand that he's not 230 pounds, he's about 210 pounds, and adjust his style and game accordingly.

Limited effectiveness when he appeared to be injured. Lacked burst to get through the line, no 2nd gear in the open field once he had path to the end zone. Faster releasing from the backfield and into his route when healthy, but too slow when injured. Didn't carry enough speed through the hole, so he'd get stopped by arm tackles instead of ripping through them. Like I said before, more like an UDFA when he's not healthy.

Some of his big runs in 2022 and 2023 are deceptive, because he's not running as fast as it first appears. I wish we had GPS data to track his acceleration and top speed. If you study what happened on certain plays, the defenders take bad angles, causing them to become "slow" as the RB runs past them. This creates an optical illusion that makes it look like Henderson is going fast, but I don't think this is the case. If you compare the tape to very similar runs when Hendo is healthy and has his regular burst and long speed, the plays look very different, night and day. He had much better speed in 2021. Not elusive when limited, he'd get tackled in the hole. Not creative, no lateral jump cut range when limited, so he struggled to escape.

Inconsistent vision. Made some nice cuts to find daylight, but other plays his vision would narrow as he approached the line, missing opportunities for interior cutbacks. The RB would decide early to go outside and run into congestion.

Limited route tree. Used as safety outlet to flat and on select routes that use his speed, but not used on angle or WR type routes over the middle of the field.

Played for a college football powerhouse with incredible OL talent. Truck sized holes, defenders pancaked to the ground, tired and worn out defenses. He's not going to see so many huge holes in the NFL. Every single starting OL from the 2021 team was drafted and one of the backups is a projected 2nd rd pick in the 2024 draft. There might be 5 first round WRs from that team. CJ Stroud was the QB. The TE was a 3rd rd pick. Ohio State was like a future NFL roster, but playing at the collegiate level. Opponents in 2023 have to respect threat of Marvin Harrison Jr.

Rotated with other RBs. Not a workhorse RB.

Draft Grade and Pro Comp

3rd round grade. (Darrell Henderson, 3rd round 2019, 70th overall selection, Rams, Memphis)

Hendo put up video game stats in college. He had 1,909 rushing yards his final season at Memphis, with an 8.9 yard per carry average. He had over 3,000 yards over his last 2 years in college, with an 8.9 yard average. He had 4 fumbles in college on 413 career rushing attempts, a solid, but not great ball security rate.

Hendo's career has been a mixed bag. He started double digit games for the Rams in 2020 and 2021 and played nearly his entire rookie contract with the Rams, so he's not a bust. Indeed, he started enough games that per the criteria I've used to evaluate 3rd rd picks, Hendo would qualify as a "starter". Some of his stats are decent. He has 442 career rushing attempts in the NFL regular season, but has zero fumbles. PFF gave Hendo an 80.4 PFF grade in 2020, his 2nd season as a pro. Hendo had 4.5 yards per carry in 2020 and 4.6 ypc in 2021, both good marks. His career YPC is 4.2, which is better than Joe Mixon's career average.

On the other hand, Hendo was dumped by the Rams in the middle of 2022 (briefly with the Jags), was a street FA to begin 2023 and has essentially been a PS level player for the Rams this year. He's never had at least 700 rushing yards in a single season. Snead promised to do "Alvin Kamara" type things with Hendo, but he never developed into much of a receiving threat. Hendo is fast, but he doesn't break many tackles.

When healthy, TreVeyon Henderson might be the most explosive RB in the 2024 draft. He has big play ability. I question, however, whether he is a complete enough RB to be a true NFL RB1 or a star at the next level. I think he'd be better if used as part of a "thunder and lightning" duo where he split carries with a bigger RB who was more reliable in pass protection and short yardage, then Henderson could be brought in off the bench as a "change of pace" RB.

The Rams traded up for Darrell Henderson in 2019. One of the RBs still on the board was David Montgomery. I also liked Devin Singetary. There was also a WR we talked about on TST and we thought was good, Terry McLaurin from Ohio State. But, the Rams didn't need a WR then, right? The Rams also could have targeted a guard, Nate Davis. Without trading up, the Rams at their original draft slots at the bottom of the 3rd round could have drafted Alexander Mattison. One of the players taken at the top of the 4th round was Maxx Crosby. Justice Hill was a 4th rd pick in the 2019 draft. He had a 4.40 second 40 time. He's a backup for the Ravens and this year will probably be the first time he gains 300 yards in any season (he currently has 290 yards.)

I think that TreVeyon Henderson is a better prospect than other fast RBs like Justice Hill, and have graded him accordingly, but I also don't think that he's the next Ezekiel Elliott. Henderson is a wild card in the draft, because I have no idea what the doctors are going to say and whether he'll get a clean bill of health. If Henderson drops in the draft, a team might gamble on him, similar with how the Rams took a shot at Terrell Lewis at OLB in the 3rd rd in 2020. To sum up, I don't view Henderson as a draft priority for the Rams in 2024, but he could be an interesting value pick somewhere in Day 3 if he lasts that long on the board.