C.J. Henderson 2020 NFL Draft Profile

C.J. Henderson
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C.J. Henderson Overview

Position: Cornerback
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 204 pounds
School: Florida

NFL Combine Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds
Bench press: 20 reps
Vertical jump: 37.5 inches

C.J. Henderson 2020 NFL Draft Profile

After being the star in the Florida Gators defensive backfield the past two seasons, C.J. Henderson enters the 2020 NFL Draft as one of the premier talents at cornerback. Before arriving in Gainesville, Henderson had already made a name for himself at Columbus High School in Miami, Fl. A standout in both his junior and senior seasons, Henderson was invited to the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game.

Henderson broke into the starting lineup in during his freshman season and made an instant impact. He intercepted four passes, returning two for touchdowns in consecutive weeks while receiving Second-Team All-SEC honors following the season. As a sophomore in 2018, Henderson notched two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and three sacks as Florida finished in the top-10 for the first time since 2012. In his final collegiate season, Henderson did not intercept any passes as quarterbacks avoided throwing his way. He still made an impact on the field with one sack and three tackles for loss as the Gators again finished in the top-10 for the season. Following the season, he was named to the Coaches’ All-SEC First-Team.

Strengths

  • Good ball skills;
  • Size and skill set to play inside or outside;
  • Can play man or zone and understands assignments;
  • Good jam skills at the line;
  • Physical on contested catches;
  • Skilled blitzer;
  • Great closing speed when the ball is thrown;

Weaknesses

  • Sometimes guesses and looks into the backfield, getting beat deep;
  • Not a poor tackler but not always willing to get involved to deliver hits;
  • Can be outmuscled by bigger receivers downfield;
  • Sometimes not disciplined when passing off zones;
  • Had a rough game against LSU in 2019;

NFL Comparison: Marcus Peters

Teams With Need At Position: Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs

Bottom Line

Henderson brings a well-rounded game with him into the NFL. With the ability to play either left or right cornerback, along with being capable of playing inside at nickel, Henderson should be a day-one contributor with a full-time starting role on the horizon. As he brings a blitzing background with him, he can get sprinkled in on obvious passing downs to add pressure if a team feels the need to ease him into the starting lineup Year One. And as always, his experience against SEC receivers should help his learning curve as well.

Look for a team playing an aggressive man-to-man style defense in the back end to target Henderson. While he still has the skill set to play in a zone scheme, he looks to translate much smoother into a heavy man scheme. Like Peters, he has the ability to affect any pass thrown his way. Unfortunately, like Peters, he can get caught peeking in the backfield and get burned deep. If he can produce like Peters on the field, teams will look past his occasional coverage lapses. If he can add some strength to battle bigger receivers downfield, Henderson could become a top-tier cornerback that NFL quarterbacks will have to look for prior to every pass play.

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