Heading into halftime against Western Kentucky in Week 3, Ohio State Buckeyes RB TreVeyon Henderson looks like his 2021 self. He’s as fast, as physical, and as confident as he’s ever been as a playmaker. And he’s starting to quell any concerns about his viability as an RB1 candidate in the 2024 NFL Draft.
TreVeyon Henderson Returns to Form in Week 3
As a true freshman in 2021, Henderson had 183 carries for 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns, to go along with 27 catches for 312 yards and four additional scores.
In 2022, however, he had just 571 yards — at over a yard less per attempt.
The Henderson we saw in 2021 was one of the most explosive playmakers on the college football circuit, with an instant first step, blistering speed, menacing leverage and physicality, and all-encompassing versatility. But the Henderson in 2022 was noticeably different.
A broken bone in Henderson’s foot sapped not only his explosiveness but also his confidence throughout the entirety of the 2022 season. That lack of burst subsequently raised questions in his summer evaluations ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft cycle.
Would he be able to get back to the level he was at in 2021?
Now, midway through Ohio State’s Week 3 contest against the Hilltoppers, it appears as though the answer might be yes. At the half, Henderson has nine carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns, as well as a catch for 27 yards.
Along the way, Henderson has hurdled defenders, exploded outside into space and created separation with his speed, bowled through tackle attempts, and shown off his RAC ability as a pass catcher. When healthy, Henderson is a complete weapon for an offense, and he’s fitting that description today.
Health Was the Biggest Roadblock for Henderson in RB1 Debate
The RB1 debate for the 2024 NFL Draft is by no means a consensus issue. Evaluators across the board have thrown their hats in the ring for a variety of prospects — among them Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders, Clemson’s Will Shipley, Florida State’s Trey Benson, and Henderson.
Nevertheless, if Henderson is healthy, there’s a case to be made that he has the most complete skill set of the bunch.
At 5’10”, 214 pounds, Henderson’s an extremely dense, well-leveraged back with superb contact balance and tenacity. He has good vision and creative instincts, and he’s a stellar receiving threat as well.
Ultimately, Henderson’s game-breaking speed and explosiveness are what would seal the deal on his RB1 bid. And early on in the 2023 season, he looks as fast and dynamic as he did in 2021. In turn, he’s playing with a kind of confidence we didn’t always see in 2022 because of the injury. That combination has yielded exciting results.
TreVeyon Henderson’s 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Henderson’s full accounting of strengths and weaknesses are available to read in his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report at Pro Football Network.
In the summary of the report, I discussed Henderson’s 2021 film and how it is the purest representation of his physical talent and projectability:
“There is something to say about how suddenly Henderson dominated at the collegiate level after arriving as a true freshman. Right away, his explosiveness and speed were superlative among his peers.
“His blend of momentum and physicality made him a force to deal with downhill. But beyond that, he displayed the necessary twitch, vision, and instincts to adapt, and he boasted an extra dimension as an electric RAC threat in the passing game.
“In the modern NFL, versatility and three-down utility are two qualities that almost qualify as necessities for early-round backs, and Henderson has those traits in his arsenal. He also has the explosiveness and twitch, speed, contact balance, vision, and pass-down value to be an impact NFL starter.”
Now that Henderson is returning to form, we might be able to get a more definitive answer about where he stacks up in the 2024 NFL Draft. If he continues to enjoy good health and better numbers, he’ll leave no doubts about his reliability as a game-changing weapon at the professional level.
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