See if you’ve heard this one before: A Florida underclassman enters the season as one of the top cornerbacks in his draft class, only to see his stock fall.
At least, that was the case in recent years with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Vernon Hargreaves, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor.
C.J. Henderson will try to buck that trend, should he enter the 2020 NFL draft.
Henderson, a junior, is reportedly leaning toward declaring early. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, he has the size and experience that NFL teams covet. But he’s also had a few shaky games, especially after missing three games with a leg injury suffered in Week 2.
Fantastic play by Florida CB C.J. Henderson here.
Henderson playing with outside leverage due to the threat of Hall’s vertical speed, but he tracks this route well and mirrors the in-breaking cut. From there, it’s simply good trail technique and a great break on the ball. pic.twitter.com/qg6BGQ4Ynp
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) July 13, 2019
In a Nov. 2 report, Walter Football pointed out the good and the bad with Henderson: natural ability to run with receivers and prevent separation, combined with suspect tackling. The scouting report noted that Henderson had bad games against LSU and Georgia.
“He has been playing soft coverage, allowing a number of receptions and not being as aggressive with his technique in past seasons,” the report says. “Henderson might be protecting himself and trying not to get hurt, but he’s producing some disappointing tape for pro evaluators.”
Henderson currently has 26 tackles and 10 pass deflections but has not recorded an interception. He has six career interceptions, including four as a freshman.
Still, scouts are intrigued by Henderson’s size, speed and athletic traits. Tony Pauline, NFL draft analyst for Pro Football Network, said last weekend that Henderson is “heavily leaning towards entering the draft.”