Nov 10, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Dan Herron (36) is tackled by St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan (31) during the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Rams won 38-8. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Daniel “Boom” Herron in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL draft. After beginning his first two NFL seasons on the Bengals practice squad, the 5’10’ 212 pound running back looks to stick on the Indianapolis Colts 53 man roster right out of the gate in his third season.
The former Ohio State Buckeye played in all four preseason games last season with the Bengals and lead the team in preseason rushing with 167 yards on 31 carries. Herron’s preseason average of 5.3 yards per carry was impressive but with the likes of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Giovani Bernard, Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead in the backfield, Herron only saw minimal time on the 53 man roster.
Minimal time on the 53 man roster doesn’t necessarily mean minimal highlights in Herron’s case. Herron made his NFL debut on Dec. 9th, 2012 vs. Dallas and partially blocked a Cowboys punt. On Dec. 13 in Philadelphia, he pushed the Eagles upback blocker into the path of the punter, forcing a blocked punt that he recovered and returned for 3 yards. In three regular season games as a rookie, Herron also logged 4 special teams tackles.
In 6 games for the Colts last season, Herron had a sick 6.6 yard average on 5 carries for 33 yards. Against the Rams he had a 57 yard reception and returned a kick 13 yards.
Herron is a hard working old school football player with a solid football character that is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Indy.
In 2010, Herron’s junior season as a Buckeye, he rushed for 1155 yards on 216 carries and 16 touchdowns but was overshadowed by the duel threat and explosive playmaking of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Herron is no track star when it comes to his straight line speed. His 4.57 forty time at the combine wasn’t anything special, but his 20 yard short shuttle time of 4.04 was 2nd best among backs. Herron is a smooth runner with quick feet and good lateral agility that can jump cut and change direction very quickly. As a pass catcher, Herron has soft hands and shows the ability to adjust to throws.
The knock on Herron is he lacks big play speed and burst, but the fun fact is, his 89 yard romp against Michigan in 2010 was the longest play from scrimmage in OSU history at the time.
He is a runner that is known as a powerful grinder that churns for yards and is capable of moving the chains.
If Herron can prove he is a capable pass protector in Pep Hamilton’s offense this preseason (and he was mixing it up pretty good with LB Jerrell Freeman in camp pass blocking drills over the weekend), he just might find his NFL workload getting a bit heavier. Opportunity might be knocking on Herron’s door in 2014. Question marks and pressure continue to mount on Trent Richardson’s ability to step up and perform at a higher level. Vick Ballard’s recent injury, along with Ahmad Bradshaw’s past injury history, and the release of Chris Rainey for violating team rules leave the Colts feeling a little uneasy about the tailback position.
The light at the end of the tunnel might be shinning on “Boom” Herron?