New Orleans tough: How Carlos Henderson’s past has him prepared to be a future Broncos star

The Broncos haven’t had a padded practice yet this spring, which is a disappointment to rookie Carlos Henderson. Denver’s third-round draft pick wants that “welcome to the NFL” hit. He wants to run over somebody.

Most wide receivers avoid contact, preferring to use speed and elusiveness to excel. Henderson plays more like a running back. As the NFL evolves, those positions blend together. In an era with Tyreek Hill, Ty Montgomery and now Christian McCaffrey, players who excel at catching and running the ball have shifted from a luxury to a valued commodity.

Henderson stood against a wall adjacent to reporters waiting to question him last week about what he can add to the Broncos’ pedestrian offense. He’s reserved, a bit tense and reluctant to trust. Denver is still a foreign land to Henderson, but he’s certain he belongs here.

“I don’t have anything to prove, really,” he said with a New Orleans drawl minutes before being enclosed by the group. “I’m confident in my game. I’m just out here trying to make a name for myself.”