NASHVILLE – When Titans rookie Hassan Haskins took the practice field with fellow running back Derrick Henry for the first time earlier this month, he watched the veteran's every move.
"I definitely watch him, all his moves," Haskins said of Henry. "Just seeing how he is, how he handles himself. He's a super-cool dude. … I just want to keep picking his brain and keep getting better."
It turns out Henry, a two-time NFL rushing leader, was watching Haskins as well.
And he paid the rookie a nice compliment.
"I was excited when we got him," Henry said. "Hassan is a beast. I was able to catch his game vs Ohio State when he went off. Seeing him in person, he is a big dude, and he's a solid dude. Seeing him (at practice), I can tell everything is coming natural to him. I just told him: 'Don't try to get too overwhelmed, just take it day by day."
Taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Haskins has made a nice early impression this offseason with the Titans, from rookie camp to OTAs to minicamp.
Time will tell how much of a factor Haskins might be this fall behind one of the game's elite backs, and other more experienced options around him.
In 2021, Haskins ran for 1,327 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Wolverines. He racked up a career-best 169 rushing yards on 28 carries and tied a Michigan record with five rushing touchdowns against Ohio State (Nov.27).
"Hassan has been a pleasure to work with," Titans running backs coach Tony Dews said of Haskins. "In the classroom portion, he puts in work. He works hard, he studies the game. And out here on the field, obviously we're in shorts and a big part of his game is his power, the way he runs with the ball. But I am excited to see him as we get going and we get into camp and get pads on and those kinds of things.
"But he's been pleasant to be around, works hard, does everything he is asked to do. At this point I am just looking for him to continue to get better each day as he we come out here and work on his skillset."
During his career at Michigan, Haskins (6-2, 228) appeared in 37 games and he carried the ball 452 times for 2,324 yards and scored 30 rushing touchdowns. He only had only 26 negative rushing yards his entire career. He also had 10 career 100-yard rushing games and did not fumble in 452 rushing attempts.
Haskins also caught 24 passes for 171 yards in his career.
With Henry working out on his own during most the offseason, Haskins got extra work in practices alongside backs like Dontrell Hilliard, Trenton Cannon, Jordan Wilkins and Julius Chestnut.
Haskins said he felt he made progress.
"I feel way more confident," he said. "Just knowing the plays, and playing without thinking."
In training camp, he hopes to begin showing more of what he's about.
Haskins knows he'll have to earn his spot, and chances, just like he did when he first arrived at Michigan.
"In college, I wasn't starting right away – I had to work my way," he said. "Now, I have to do the same thing – I have to keep working each day. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be a couple of years, but I am going to keep working and get better to have a role on this team."