When the Denver Broncos signed C.J. Anderson to a four-year, $18 million contract extension, it was assumed by all that Anderson would be the main man in Denver. However, this has not been the case. Granted, last season Anderson went down with a torn meniscus in his right knee which required surgery. However, even before that, he was not all that impressive. Since taking over as “the guy” in Denver’s backfield in 2014, Anderson has failed to play a full season, crack 1,000 yards rushing, or even score double-digit touchdowns. His career high is 8 touchdowns. To shore up the backfield, in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Broncos drafted a running back out of Utah, Devonte Booker, in the 4th round who many believed would challenge Anderson. After Anderson’s season-ending knee injury, it was Booker’s backfield for the taking…and he went nowhere. He rushed for 612 yards in six starts, while averaging only 3.5 yards per attempt and 38.5 yards per game. The saving grace for Booker was that he saw 45 targets, converting 31 of them into receptions.
The Broncos did have one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season, boasting a bottom-5 line which obviously did no favors to Booker. However, heading into the 2017 NFL season, Denver has made many significant upgrades to the line, as well as a sneaky upgrade at the running-back position.
Enter into the mix De’Angelo Henderson.
Henderson was taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, in the sixth round at pick number 203 by the Denver Broncos. In 2016 at Coastal Carolina, in only 9 games, Henderson rushed for 1156 yards and 16 touchdowns as well as 20 receptions. By the end of his college career, Henderson had compiled 4,635 rushing yards and 58 total rushing touchdowns, along with 97 total receptions. Nothing short of impressive to say the least.
Checking in at 5’7”, 208 pounds, Henderson possesses intriguing size and size that should help him to be successful in the NFL. He clocked at 4.48 40-time at the combine and has shown great burst. He also showed off his burst and speed with a 41-yard touchdown in the Broncos first preseason game vs. Chicago, while finishing with 54 yards on 7 carries.
Given time I truly believe that this team will turn to De’Angelo Henderson. He gives me that Mike Anderson vibe and if the Broncos can improve their offensive line and run-blocking production, Henderson should prove a valuable asset in this system. Only time will tell.
Photo Credits: Zimbio