Los Angeles Rams select Tigers RB Darrell Henderson with the 70th overall pick
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – University of Memphis running back Darrell Henderson was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Friday, as the 70th overall pick. He was the second running back selected on day two of the draft.
A consensus 2018 NCAA All-American, Henderson led the nation last season in all-purpose yards with 2,328 yards, including 1,909 rushing yards. Henderson was a virtual first down in his junior season before declaring for the draft, averaging 9.5 yards per touch (2,204 rush/receive yards combined on 233 total touches). Henderson led the American Athletic Conference in rushing and finished second in the nation in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game (146.8 ypg). A finalist for the Doak Walker Award, Henderson missed the NCAA total rushing yards number by just 278 yards, despite having 100 fewer carries than Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and with another 1,000-yard rusher on the Memphis roster in 2018 (Patrick Taylor, Jr.).
Henderson led the FBS in rushes of 40-plus yards (12), plays of 40-plus yards (15), and rushes of 10-plus yards (55). He finished second in FBS in rushing touchdowns (22) and touchdowns scored (25). In his final season in the Blue and Gray, Henderson had nine 100-yard rushing games, including three 200-yard performances. In the 2018 AAC Championship game, Henderson rushed 16 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns and passed for a touchdown. His three rushing touchdowns was a mark he set three times in 2018 (Navy, UConn, UCF).
A two-time all-conference honoree, Henderson was named the program’s second Walter Camp First Team All-American in 2018 (Tony Pollard, 2017). Henderson was also named to All-America teams by the FWAA, Associated Press, Sporting News, AFCA and Sports Illustrated. He was the Touchdown Club of Columbus’ Jim Brown Running Back of the Year Award winner and was a member of the Maxwell and Walter Camp watch lists last year, in addition to his Doak Walker finalist nod.
Henderson became Memphis’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2009 as a sophomore in 2017 when he rushed for 1,154 yards on 130 carries. He added 24 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns and 13 kick returns for 250 yards and one kick return touchdown.
For his career, Henderson appeared in 38 games with 29 starts. He capped his career with 3,545 rushing yards, second-most in Memphis history, on 431 carries with 36 touchdowns. He also added 63 receptions for 758 yards and eight touchdowns and 25 kick returns for 487 yards. In total, he recorded 16 100-yard rushing games and is one of just three Tiger backs to record back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns (Williams, Curtis Steele).
Henderson’s pick means Memphis had now had a player drafted for six straight seasons, dating back to Lonnie Ballentine in 2014. Henderson is the fourth player to be drafted after being coached by fourth year head coach Mike Norvell (Genard Avery, Cleveland, 2018; Jake Elliott, Cincinnati, 2017; Anthony Miller, Chicago, 2018).
He is the ninth Tiger to be drafted by Rams: Martin Ifedi (2015), Isaac Bruce (1994), Jeff Buffaloe (1993), Eddie Hill (1979), Eary Jones (1977), Doug Woodlief (1965), John Griffin (1963) and Bill Robertson (1951).
The draft concludes Saturday with rounds four through seven, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.