Memphis fans will have to keep a watchful eye on this year’s NFL Draft, which starts Thursday in Nashville. The Memphis Tigers have three players awaiting the call from an NFL team to be selected in one of seven rounds: Offensive lineman Tevon Tate as well as running backs Darrell Henderson and Tony Pollard.
1. Darrell Henderson, RB
One player who won’t have to wait long is Henderson. Henderson got a rare invitation to join the draft in person by the NFL — a privilege reserved for players expected to be drafted early. Though it’s no guarantee that Henderson will be drafted in the first three rounds, the invite indicates it’s highly likely.
Henderson finished the season as the No. 2 running back in the nation, notching 1,909 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. A native of Batesville, Miss., Henderson finished his UofM career with 3,545 total rushing yards and 36 touchdowns.
Henderson made many 50-plus yards touchdown runs and impressed the NFL scouts who showed up for Tigers games on a weekly basis. Henderson is projected to be picked in either the second or third round. Most NFL teams have historically not taken running backs in the first round. Henderson has visited many teams for the purpose to see if he would be an exception this trend.
2. Tony Pollard, RB
Tony Pollard, an alum of Melrose High, broke the Memphis Tigers drought of 20 years of not have a kickoff return for a touchdown in his freshmen redshirt year. Pollard finished his career tied for the all-time kickoff returns for touchdowns with seven, despite teams refusing to kick off to him the last two seasons.
Pollard is listed as a running back, but he splits his time as a receiver. It is unclear whether teams will classify him as a receiver or as a running back. With the NFL trying to outlaw kickoff returns with some recent rule modification. Pollard is projected to be a late-round pick. If he is not selected in the draft, he will definitely receive an invitation to an NFL camp as a free agent signee.
3. Tevon Tate, OL
Offensive lineman Trevon Tate has been ranked as one of the top 15 offensive in this year’s draft class.
Tate is listed in the top 10 and had a great session during the NFL draft combine this year. AT 6’4″, The 295-pounder from North Shore High School in Houston, TX. Tate is projected to be a late-round draft choice.
The NFL will occur from Thursday April 25 thru Saturday April 27. The first round can be seen on ABC and the NFL Network starting at 6 pm and other rounds will be shown on ESPN and the NFL Network.