NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry could well turn into a fine NFL running back.
He’s a giant who can bowl people over. He won’t find holes running for the Titans as big as the ones he got from Alabama, and he may need to use his excellent stiff-arm skills to create separation from second-level defenders because he doesn’t have much wiggle.
But The Titans clearly saw him as a good value in the second round, 45th overall.
I don’t see anyone who I absolutely would have grabbed instead of him so I understand the value element of the pick. He’s a bigger DeMarco Murray with a similar style so I understand how he fits the team’s philosophy and plugs in with its desired mentality.
When Titans first-year general manager Jon Robinson called Henry to welcome him to the team, he told the rookie he’d be part of Thunder and Thunder working with Murray.
The concern I am still trying to work through is that the Titans are spending so much on the running back position, whether it’s money or draft capital. And while I understand how much a good running game can help a young quarterback, I don’t want Tennessee’s rushing offense to overtake Marcus Mariota.
Murray is making $6 million in cash this year (sixth most among backs in the league). His $6.37 million average per year is ninth at the position.
Just a couple months after crating the trade for him and that deal, the Titans drafted Henry in the second round two years after a different regime drafted Bishop Sankey in the second round.
Let’s ditch Sankey, who may well not make the team. I can’t find a team that has a high-priced veteran and a running back who was drafted by it in the first two rounds.
The Jacksonville Jaguars look like the only other outlier in running back investment. They signed free agent Chris Ivory to a deal worth $7.5 million in cash this year after spending a second-rounder, 36th overall, on another Alabama running back, T.J. Yeldon.
A personnel man with another team says I’m looking at it all wrong when I consider the investment in the position for the Titans.
“Don't think of it like that, that's not a football thought,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with having a stable of good players.”