Teams looking for a cornerback in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft to improve their pass coverage will spend a lot of time researching CJ Henderson. Even though he didn't intercept a single pass his junior season at Florida, there are plenty of other reasons he was named first-team All-SEC by the coaches. He will likely experience his share of growing pains early, but in the right defensive system, the payoff down the road will be worth it for the team that uses an early-round pick on Henderson.
CJ Henderson Draft Profile
Henderson is long, fast and fluid, bringing essentially everything you want in a press corner. He’s quick and physical at the line of scrimmage, preferring to line up right under a receiver’s chinstrap and rarely letting him escape the jam. After that, he flips his hips and goes. He can afford the occasional mistake when transitioning because his recovery speed is that good, not to mention he has the kind of length that is difficult to throw over. He’ll play a lot of inside technique and looks to rough receivers up on their routes, always playing with an edge. He shows excellent change-of-direction ability.
Henderson too often struggles to locate the ball downfield and will get grabby, panicking even though he doesn’t have to. He might pick up a ton of pass interference calls early on in his career. While failing to get a single interception over the course of a season is fluky, it is representative of his shaky ball skills. While he’s physical at the line of scrimmage, he doesn’t bring the same competitiveness in run support.
Strictly a press-man corner with prototypical traits, Henderson has some habits to break and must become a more reliable tackler. He could have a rocky first season or two, but he offers the versatility to play the boundary or over the slot.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round