#5/1 CJ Henderson
WT: 204 lbs
Bench: 20 reps
Scouting Report: CB CJ Henderson, Florida
Speed/Athleticism: CJ Henderson is a smooth, fluid athlete who moves very well in space. Balled out at the combine and tied for the fifth-best performance across all positional groups in the forty-yard dash. Shifts his hips well and shows good, quick footwork, but I think he’s a little bit slow on turning his body, especially after he’s bitten on a route one direction.
Man/Press Coverage Ability: CJ Henderson is a sticky cover corner. I don’t think he’s physical enough for my liking, and I don’t see him dominating press coverage like I would want him to for someone his size. He will get a little bit too handsy at the top of routes with receivers and draws flags.
Zone Coverage Ability: While Henderson plays his zone well, I don’t think he can be an effective zone coverage corner in the NFL. Henderson looks to shirk and avoids contact. He can take zones of the field away and make quarterbacks uncomfortable with making throws his way. I see a lot of NFL teams scheming one-on-one opportunities with him in the open field with the runner.
Ball Skills: Ball skills seem to be the strength that CJ Henderson really has. Made 6 career interceptions (4 his freshman season) and ended with 20 career pass breakups. He does well to locate the ball, although you’d like to see him work more downfield to turn and make a play on the ball.
Tackling/Pursuit: Henderson has no interest in tackling. None. He looks to avoid that responsibility all of the time. Henderson has shown me no wrap-up form or technique. Runs into people generally on the sideline or he hopes to knock them over my diving at their feet. Horrible tackler in space. I wouldn’t trust him to make an open-field tackle. Pursuit is oftentimes lackadaisical and unmotivated. Angles are poor despite his game-changing speed.
Football IQ/Awareness: CJ Henderson looks like he is very smart on tape. He moves well, understands how to cover routes in man coverage, doesn’t over-pursue routes, etc. Usually does well to stay with where the ball is moving. He’s just not a high effort player outside of coverage assignments.
CJ Henderson is so fast and fluid as an athlete, and there is an appeal to his game because of that. There are limitations, and I think a lot of these limitations will reveal that he won’t go as high as many people think he will. He’s a liability as a tackler or as a run support defender, which tells me that there aren’t many zone coverage schemes that will find a use for him. He doesn’t win much in press coverage nor was he asked to play it much. I think the speed and athleticism is attractive, but overall there are a few too many holes to his game that he hasn’t shown any ability (or desire) to improve on. He’s a third-round guy in my opinion, and I might pull the trigger on him in the fourth.