The most electric big-play threat at running back in this year's draft, Henderson averaged an incredible 8.9 YPC the last two seasons for Memphis while handling a heavy workload. He doesn't have the prototypical frame for an NFL starter, but his balance and footwork make him tougher to bring down in traffic than his upright running style suggests, and his incredible acceleration allows him to hit top speed in a hiccup and turn a small crease or tiny patch of green into a huge gain. Henderson also showed he can be an asset as a receiver, both as a check-down option and as a route-runner, but he might need to improve his blocking skills to see significant passing-down action. If he's stuck purely as Todd Gurley's backup, Henderson's touches will be limited, especially if Malcolm Brown also stays in the mix for snaps. The big question is whether Gurley can stay on the field amidst reports of a degenerative condition in his left knee. If not, Henderson could land a key role in an efficient, uptempo offense with strong blocking and impressive downfield weapons.
The Cardinals are all in on Kyler Murray. They made the Heisman Trophy winner this year's top draft pick and already named him the starter. New coach Kliff Kingsbury said he'll tailor his air raid offense around Murray, who shouldn't face too steep of a learning curve after he excelled in Oklahoma's spread attack, joining Deshaun Watson as the only quarterbacks in FBS history with 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Murray has a strong arm, quick release and first-rate elusiveness - he was sacked on just 4.5 percent of his dropbacks last season. Height is his only issue, but it's a big one. At 5-10 1/8, he's the shortest quarterback drafted in the first round since 1953. He's also shorter than Russell Wilson, who despite all his success has trouble seeing over linemen at times. The Cardinals are betting that, like Wilson, Murray can overcome it with exceptional athleticism - he was picked ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft - and instinctive playmaking skills. He'll be surrounded by physically gifted receivers with spread-offense experience. Second-round pick Andy Isabella ran a 4.31 40 at the combine, fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler is 6-5, second-year WR Christian Kirk played in the air raid at Texas Tech, and the team even signed oft-injured West Virginia product Kevin White. Murray also has Larry Fitzgerald working the slot and an excellent receiver out of the backfield in David Johnson. The biggest question is how well the air raid offense will work in the NFL.
Jackson ended the Joe Flacco era in Baltimore in Week 11 last year, starting for the injured veteran and never letting him back on the field. As expected, Jackson was dynamite as a runner, topping 65 yards on the ground in six of seven starts. Also as expected, Jackson struggled in the passing game, with his 58.2 completion percentage ranking 35th among 38 quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts. What's more, he rarely challenged defenses deep - just 13 passes longer than 20 yards, including only five completions. His 24.7 bad pass percentage was third highest in the NFL, and he reached 200 passing yards just once. Still, a run-heavy attack - a leage-high 63.7 rushing percentage Weeks 11-17 - helped Baltimore win six of its last seven games to reach the playoffs. An aggressive running game will be the basis of the offense again this season, perhaps even more so with former running game coordinator Greg Roman promoted to offensive coordinator. That will help prop up Jackson's fantasy stats, but a heavy workload on the ground also exposes him to injury, and he fumbled 12 times last year (losing four). Even modest improvements in passing efficiency will go a long way for the fantasy prospects of Jackson, the first QB since Michael Vick capable of a 1,000-yard rushing season. Jackson's limited passing success last year came on throws to tight end Mark Andrews, who is now joined by rookie wideouts Marquise Brown (first round) and Miles Boykin (third round), along with veteran tailback Mark Ingram. There are more growing pains to come for the Baltimore passing game, but Jackson at least will have better athletes around him this year in his first shot as a Week 1 starter.