It’s rookie mini-camp for a handful of NFL teams this weekend, signaling the first time each team’s 2016 draft class gets a chance to put on the pads and go to work trying to prove their worth following the NFL Draft.
For some, their first time running through an NFL practice can be a little rough. Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson lamented the fact that so many of his rookies, including the team’s no. 1 pick Corey Coleman, were out of shape. The NFL is on another level from the college practices most rookies are used to, so it’s understandable that, at least through rookie mini-camp, there are serious adjustments to be made.
That is especially the case for the Tennessee Titans’ first pick in the second round, former Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who found the NFL’s footwork drills more difficult than he expected. The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Henry stumbled his way through a drill that had him shuffle over a series of elongated pylons, tripping over the bags in a few instances and having to start over.
“You’ve got to adjust,” Henry told ESPN. “Once you get used to it, you get better at it. It’s the first day, so you try to do the best you can.”
It was the first practice, and all reports from the rest of Henry’s day were positive. But footwork is one of the most important skills a running back can possess, and Henry, who spent most of his time at Alabama running defenders over, will need to add elusiveness to his power running style. After day one, it looks like that might take awhile.