Titans RB Derrick Henry: Two RBs Should Go in First Round of 2021 NFL Draft


NASHVILLE – Alabama running back Najee Harris deserves to be a first-round pick in April's NFL Draft.

At least that's the opinion of another No. 22 – Titans running back Derrick Henry.

Henry, in fact, believes two running backs should go in the first round of this year's draft despite the opinions of those trying to devalue the position, he said.

Harris, who like Henry starred at the University of Alabama, has been projected by many draft experts to be picked in the latter half of the first round, or in the top half of the second round.

Henry was a second-round pick of the Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft, selected 45th overall.

"(Najee) definitely deserves to be a first-round pick, and hopefully he gets the opportunity," Henry said of Harris, who rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns on 251 carries while also catching 43 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns in his final season at Alabama. "The things he did this year, it was just unbelievable. He's great at running the ball, great at catching the ball. He is the full package. It's what you want from a guy coming in and being a day one starter at the running back position."

Henry is also a fan of Clemson running back Travis Etienne, who ran for 914 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2020. Etienne finished his Clemson career with 4,952 rushing yards and 70 touchdowns on 686 carries, as well as 1,155 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 102 receptions.

Like Harris, Etienne has been projected as a first or second-round pick, depending on the analyst. Numerous draft analysts have Etienne ranked ahead of Harris in the list of running back prospects.

"I think Travis Etienne is definitely well deserving of going in the first round," Henry said. "I know that they try to devalue us backs and say that running backs, you can get a running back in the second round. But Najee and Etienne deserve to go in the first round – they have earned it. You have seen it week in and week out, what they did this year, the type of players they are, it shows on film."

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