The Tennessee Titans completed their trio of second-round picks by drafting Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry of Alabama with selection No. 45.
Henry joins 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota in the Tennessee backfield and will get to learn at the feet of veteran DeMarco Murray, who was acquired by the Titans in an off-season trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Henry rushed for 2,291 yards last season as a junior for the Crimson Tide on his way to winning the Heisman and helping Alabama to win the NCAA National Championship.
Henry is an unusual pick in that the Titans just last month acquired veteran running back DeMarco Murray from the Philadelphia Eagles in a swap of fourth-round picks.
Henry said he wants to come in and compete with the veteran.
“I just want to come in and compete and get better every day. DeMarco is a great back and has had great success. I just want to come in and compete every day and make each other better,” Henry said.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson said the fact that the Titans already have Murray didn’t matter when it came to selecting Henry with the last of Tennessee’s three second-round draft choices.
“He’s a good football player, a really good football player. I think that was evident in winning the Heisman Trophy,” Robinson said. “He’s big, he’s physical, he’s fast. He fits the style of football that we want to play. He’s tough, he’s accountable and he’s going to embody everything we’re about as a Titan.”
The Titans spent time with Henry at the NFL Scouting Combine and also at Alabama’s pro day.
Robinson said that the Titans would not hesitate to use Henry in the passing game as well, and praised his pass protection skills.
The acquisition of Henry along with Murray complete revamps a weak Titans running game and jeopardizes the roles of running backs Bishop Sankey, David Cobb, Antonio Andrews and Dexter McCluster on the roster.
In terms of being on the same team as the Heisman winner right before him, Henry said he has met Mariota, but hopes to get to know him better. He already likes what he has seen of the former Oregon quarterback as a player.
“Oh, I think he is a great player. He leads by example. He does good at everything he does, a Heisman Trophy winner, second pick in the first round,” Henry said. “I feel like he is going to better than he was last year this year. He’s a leader and I have been watching him since college.”