Round 3 – Memphis RB Darrell Henderson
5-8, 208 – Junior

Previous Pick: Western Illinois DT Khalen Saunders
Henderson was featured in PewterReport.com’s initial 2019 Bucs’ Mock Draft and he makes a return appearance in the third version of the mock draft. Running back remains a need because the Buccaneers had one of the worst running games in the league last year with Peyton Barber as the team’s only reliable ballcarrier, rushing for a career high 871 yards and five touchdowns while averaging only 3.7 yards per carry. Barber only signed a one-year deal worth just over $2.1 million this offseason and the team needs longevity at the position.

Tampa Bay drafted Ronald Jones II from USC in the second round last year to bring speed and playmaking to the running back position, but he was a huge disappointment in rushing for just 44 yards and one touchdown in 23 carries (1.9 avg.) and seven catches for 33 yards (4.7 avg.) with several dropped passes. The Bucs signed former Arizona rusher Andre Ellington just in case Jones is a bust.

Memphis RB Darrell Henderson
Memphis RB Darrell Henderson – Photo by: Memphis athletics

Despite the coaching change, Bucs general manager Jason Licht would be foolish to automatically assume that Jones will develop under Bruce Arians and he needs to act as if Jones will be a bust and draft another running back as insurance policy and for competition. Henderson has been one of the most explosive players in college football over the past two years in averaging a ridiculous 8.9 yards per carry while combining to rush for 3,063 and 31 touchdowns from 2017-18, including a career-high 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns on 214 carries last year.

Henderson’s game is reminiscent of that of former Memphis standout DeAngelo Williams, who was a thorn in Tampa Bay’s side for years as a Carolina Panther. Henderson had 16 100-yard rushing games in his Tigers career, including three 200-yard performances and another 199-yard effort during his junior season. Henderson has game-breaking speed, evidenced by his 16 carries of 40 yards or more – 10 of which were at least 60 yards or longer. Henderson ran a 4.49 at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and showed good explosion in the broad jump at 10-foot, 1-inch, and good strength with 22 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

“He’s got great vision and the ability to make you miss, and he’s got enough power to run through you as well,” UCF coach Josh Heupel told the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s electric when he gets into space and can turn a 5-yard gain into a big one real quick.”

Heupel is glad that Henderson is taking his act to the next level. The Tigers star rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown in the 2017 conference championship game, which UCF won 62-55 in double overtime, and then followed that up with 199 yards and a touchdown in the rematch during the 2018 regular season, a 31-30 comeback win by the Knights, and 210 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 56-41 victory over the Tigers in the 2018 conference championship game, which was another comeback win for UCF. Henderson ripped off touchdown runs of 62 yards, 12 yards and 82 yards while rushing for over 200 yards and even threw a touchdown pass in the first half in helping Memphis build a 38-21 lead at halftime before UCF came storming back in the second half.

Despite being on the cusp of a 2,000-yard rushing season, Henderson sat out Memphis’ bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. He’s projected as a second- or third-round pick mainly due to his 5-foot-8, 208-pound size, but according to Pro Football Focus, Henderson forced 53 missed tackles and racked up 1,151 yards after contact, which was the most in the FBS last year and speaks to his toughness, contact balance and elusiveness.

Henderson’s Memphis Career Rushing Stats
2016: 87 carries for 482 yards (5.5 avg.) with 5 TDs and a long of 45 yards
2017: 130 carries for 1,154 yards (8.9 avg.) with 9 TDs and a long of 82 yards
2018: 214 carries for 1,909 yards (8.9 avg.) with 22 TDs and a long of 82 yards

Memphis Career Receiving Stats
2016: 20 receptions for 237 yards (11.9 avg.) with 3 TDs and a long of 46 yards
2017: 24 receptions for 226 yards (9.4 avg.) with 2 TDs and a long of 45 yards
2018: 19 receptions for 295 yards (15.5 avg.) with 3 TDs and a long of 72 yards

Memphis Career Kick Return Stats
2016: 2 returns for 113 yards (56.5 avg.) with 1 TD and a long of 99 yards
2017: 13 returns for 250 yards (19.2 avg.) with a long of 64 yards
2018: 10 returns for 124 yards (12.4 avg.) and a long of 20 yards

Henderson often split carries with Patrick Taylor, Jr. and Tony Pollard and finished with just eight games with 15 or more carries in his Memphis career, including just five with more than 20 carries. The fact that he didn’t carry the workload with Tigers will cause NFL scouts to question whether he can do that at the next level.

“He is an unselfish player who will do whatever it takes for this team to be successful,” Memphis coach Mike Norvell told the Orlando Sentinel.

What appeals to Tampa Bay is the fact that Henderson does run with speed and toughness, and also has great hands. He had at least 19 catches in all three seasons at Memphis, totaling 63 receptions for 758 yards (12 avg.) and eight touchdowns. Henderson had five catches that covered 40 yards or more for the Tigers in his three years in Memphis.

Another plus is that Henderson is a sure-handed offensive weapon with just three fumbles in his 494 offensive touches in his Memphis career. Henderson would also bring kick return experience to Tampa Bay’s special teams and had a 99-yard touchdown as a freshman. The Bucs had a formal interview with Henderson at the NFL Scouting Combine and seem to really like him.


Click below to view Tampa Bay’s fourth-round pick in 2019.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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BUC-ASS-BOB

Colin Cowherd lists Kwon to SF as the biggest hit of draft DeSean to Eagles A+ HUMP HUGE LOSE Bucs losing it best players McCoy yet to come AND ALL BEING REPLACED WITH BACKUPS FROM OTHER TEAMS This team was 3and 13 with out the magic wins How can anyone think this is going to work out Pewter boys put a smile on every move I think Bruce Arians could have improved last years team 1 or 2 wins which still long way from playoffs this team looking for number one draft pick 2020. I wonder what BC is thinkingabout… Read more »

dexfields22

Josh Allen is a chance in Round 1 but taking a tackle in Rd 2 with all that defense on the board is so crazy.We don’t have enough linebackers to run a 3-4 defense as it is.You actually think Shaq Barrett is going to start lol.Im seeing Rd1 and rd 2 as being linebackers..Middle and edge rusher.

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Erik Jager

Josh Allen would be a dream. Possible but somewhat unlikely. Where is the CB in the third or fourth round. A RB or QB seem like luxuy picks. They need to plan more for a non-Josh Allen draft. David White or T Jonah Williams or a trade back for Greedy Williams or another T or DE. If they get Allen then Gerald McCoy is a goner.

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Erik Jager

Buc Ass Bob The Buccaneers have more talent than you are giving them credit. Not Great but 7-9 or 8-8 is quite possible. Winston is a good QB. Bad NFL rarely have good QBs.

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LIBucsFan93

Look at the Bucs schedule and show me 8 wins? 7 would be lucky. I’m calling 6-10 with wins against Carolina(2) Detroit, Giants, Cardinals and 49ers.

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Bucsfan1983

Holy hell Scott, I can actually give you a grade higher than a C.

I give this mock a B.

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sunshineben

Bucs are a a bad team with NO MONEY. This is laughable …Why isn’t Pewter Report and buc fans SCREAMING ??

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FLBoy84

With the type of players the FA signings have been, seems that BA and staff have had more input or are more in tune with the type of player they desire than recent coaching staffs have had. Gives hope that the draft results will reflect that as well. Am curious, with nuggets the PR staff glean from the Bucs FO and staff, if these mocks avoid certain prospects the team actually have an interest in that they prefer not to advertise.

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DonkeyHunter

Great start to the mock, with Allen, and then (as usual)…downhill.

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chefboho

Love this mock, except the running back Henderson. Love his ability but think they need another defensive pick at that spot or o-line. If McCoy goes, we need more than one pick dedicated to the interior line.

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Malcolm-Reynolds

Bob – Dude NOBODY cares what Colin Blowhard says pretty much about ANYTHING. He’s not even relevant on his own network anymore. He’s a admittedly a West coast guy and has NEVER had anything good to say about the Buccaneers……. So screw him! 🙂

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fredster

I like first 3, but if we don’t draft a Safety 4th rd or so I’d be concerned. Maybe in free agency still that will happen. I love taking a good RT early that has versatility to move around if needed.

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fredster

Not sure about RB either he doesn’t have great speed. Rather draft another O lineman I think….

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BUC-ASS-BOB

The problem is Kwon was a great pick up for San Francisco and the Eagles did get a great deal with DeSean. and the Bucs are doing nothing!

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Darin

Lol. They were a bad team last season with bad coaching. Only one’s screaming are those who underestimate coaching. Even Dirk said the team was very talented. He just didnt know how to lead men, coach x’s and o’s, game plan, adjust, or manage a clock. Bruce is a football coach. That’s why.

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Captain Sly

I keep hearing the idea of trading back for more picks, in 2016 we traded back and got VHlll, Spence and Aguayo. 2018 we traded back got Vea and some 2ND Rd projects. Might be time to start thinking about trading up and go get an impact player instead of worrying about draft capital.

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OneBucPerson

You know, given that the final 4 teams left last season led the league in PPG I actually think doubling down on O-linemen in Rounds 1 and 2 might be the way to go, we don’t currently have a RG and this is probably Dot’s last year in the league. Short of us getting one of our big 3 targets this year (Bosa, Allen, Q.Williams) I think we might be better off going for someone like Jawann Taylor/Jonah Williams/Andre Dillard then going for someone like Risner/Lindstrom.

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TBChucky

Josh Allen or Q Williams at 5 would be amazing! I actually like the top 3 picks a lot. Licht, with all his faults, seems to have an eye for LB talent. I really liked Kwon, but I’m very glad we didn’t pay him what the Niners. We’ll be drafting a ILB to replace him, hopefully not at #5..

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destinjohnny

Would be happy with this draft
Jason will blow it though

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mark2001

Let’s see…why aren’t we screaming? Because what is past is past, and we have a new proven HC with a plan…AND…because we don’t live in some S hole state or city, where they are freezing, flooding, or getting blown off the face of the earth.

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mark2001

B-A-B’s.. Why aren’t we doing more now? Look up the words “Salary Cap” and educate yourself, so you can stop making stupid statements and looking foolish.

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GrayBalls

Chances BOB stops making stupid comments and making a fool of himself are somewhere in the area of slim and none

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Steven007

Hey Bob, how has winning the offseason done for us in the past? this is the first time we’ve taken a different approach in quite a while. With a legit coaching staff let’s see what happens.

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macabee

Bucs Mock Draft – Pre-Draft Draft Strategy – Stand Pat I have always been a proponent for the Bucs to trade down at #5. Now I’m not so sure. Arizona HC Kliff Kingsbury is stating publicly that QB Kyler Murray will be the first pick. Gruden/Raiders who pick at #4 are now said to be shopping QB Derek Carr. The Giants have expressed an interest in trading for QB Josh Rosen. The Jaguars have signed QB Nick Foles. The Broncos have already dealt a 4th for Flacco. The Dolphins have signed Fitzpatrick vowing to wait for QB Tagovailoa in 2020.… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

I like this mock draft. It isn’t sexy but it is about building this team for what Arians coaching staff wants for the future.

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Malcolm-Reynolds

Mac – I love the work you put into your mock. I wouldn’t be one bit unhappy if our draft fell that way. I do think that Lindstrom kid will unfortunately be gone by the time the Bucs are on the clock in the 2nd round. If we get the right trade down deal from (5) we might have enough ammo to trade back into the bottom of the 1st to snag him. I wouldn’t mind that Wilkins from Clemson if we don’t trade down too far. He has scheme diversity and a non-stop motor. That said, I agree with… Read more »

Pit of misery

I will probably say it 1,000 times Take white at 5 and never look back! Who care what the Experts say? They also say not to tack a rb. To high but I
would take Barkley or Elliott any draft day at #1. If Devin White plays here 10+ year at a pro bowl all pro level who care when you grab him?

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cozart

In Kwon’s 4 years he has 78 missed tackles, 2nd most in the league. His 18% missed tackle rate makes him the worst in that time frame. He is definitely passionate, and I would have liked to keep him at the right price, but 14+ mill per year…did I mention he’s coming off an ACL tear!
But he was a great pick up by San Fran because Collin Cowturd says so…

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Dirtypillows

Like this MoCK!!! Yes please!!

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Julian Jordan

1- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
2- Jawaan Taylor, OT, UF
3- Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis
4- David Sills V, WR WVU
5- Michael Deiter, OC/OG Wisconsin
6- Gary Johnson, Texas LB

Honestly Ed Oliver shouldn’t be available to us but we consistently miss some prospects that are obviously very talented but idk somewhere along the process people start talking stupid. Same thing happened with Aaron Donald.

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BigSombrero

My winning entry of the Bucs Battle Plan(bravo, bravo!!), I was first on this strong possiblility of 2 QB’s early and Josh Allen falling into Tampa’s lap. You can’t pass on this guy if he’s available. Honestly feel the same about Bosa or Quinnen, but I thnk its Allen that falls. I think Tampa gets the best Simeon Rice impersonator in years in Josh Allen at number 5. I also think BC’s Lindstrom is there in the 2nd for the Bucs, but with Watford on board, do they take him now? I would! Maybe they will fill in the gaps… Read more »

Biddy

I like it, just not sure about taking another RB in the 3rd. I know it’s a need but I just feel like going O-line or CB would be more pressing. Ledbetter in the 7th would be great. Low risk for a guy who plays his butt off and could be good for depth.

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owlykat

Scott, your last mock was better than this one. It is doubtful Adams will be available at 5 and we need to drop to seven in a deal and take White who will be an All Pro in the middle & can pass protect and run sideline to sideline. We need Bucannon to start at Safety. With the extra pick we need to take Lindstrom and if he is not still there take Risner to play permanently at RG. Risner is not athletic enough to stop top speed rushers on the outside and Lindy’s for that reason feel he is… Read more »

Jonathan Goodfellow

PR’s best Mock so far this year (though it is counting on some good luck with Allen dropping).

Really good draft and hits on all our needs while adding good defensive depth. Bucs need to make up for years of neglecting defense and this adds a lot of later round talent to develop.

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cobraboy

Don’t the Bucs have 2 #6’s?

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DT25

You could take this write-up on Henderson and apply it to RoJo last year almost word for word. 2nd round prospect because of size. PFF’s top rated RB in all of college football in 2017. Protects the football. Explosive tape. All of it…and did it in a far superior football conference. We addressed issue #1 already: Dirk Koetter. Now let’s address issue #2: the OL…specifically the RG position. If that still doesn’t improve the play of RoJo and Barber, then we can sink another high value draft pick into the RB position. Until then, drafting a RB anywhere before the… Read more »

LIBucsFan93

Bucs quite frankly need a defensive heavy draft. Josh Allen would be awesome early. In the second I’d go DL again with the likes of Jerry Tillery, Dre’Monet Jones or Zach Allen. Then in the 3rd flip to CB and pick from Jamel Dean, Davis Long or Isaiah Johnson- Possible reach in 3rd! In 4th and 5th I’d look for best available depth at RB, OL, LB/Edge or Safety. Fans must learn that Edge and LB are somewhat interchangeable in a 3-4 defense.

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Ron Potter

Allen would be great at #5 but I’m wondering if a lot of these players in this mock will be there where you’re mocking on this one. Bunting and Risner will likely be gone, as well as Allen, but I really like those three. Not sure on the RB. Don’t feel good about drafting any RB this year. I think Koetter and his regime have been bad for RBs here. So I’m hoping RoJo develops well and I’m believing the love BA gave Barber at a recent public appearance. It’s a gamble but I just think we need youth on… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

I noticed that a lot of the Cardinals drafts feature drafting WR’s while Arians was there. Maybe we as Bucs fans are not valuing WR as much as Arians does for his offense? Time will tell.

I do like the Bucs current group:

Evans/Godwin/Perriman/Watson/Wilson

But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bucs draft a sixth WR either.

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Erik Jager

These mock drafts ignore possible McCoy and Brate trades. They could get decent proscepts and cap room. McCoy could get a late third or fourth round pick. Brate to the right(PATRIOTS) team could get a late second round or third round. They have to trade back or may some trades. They have too holes many fill. If they get are lucky to get Allen, then McCoy is gone for sure. Taking White at the fifth pick limits their options too much. White is a great player, but they maximize their talent. A compensatory third round for McCoy could be packaged… Read more »