It’s safe to say that things have not gone as planned for Miami right tackle Seantrel Henderson. He was considered by many to be the top recruit in the country coming out of high school, and Sports Illustrated called him “probably the most polished lineman of the past decade”. Things began to change course when the gargantuan lineman committed to USC, and after they received a bowl ban following the Reggie Bush scandal, he decided to transfer in the middle of the summer preceding his freshman year. He ended up at Miami, and he’s never come close to living up to the expectations that were placed on him.
Over the past three years, Henderson has had back surgery, been suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules, and run a red light which caused a car accident and left him with a concussion. Due to all these incidents, as well as an inability to put up consistent results on the field, he has only started 18 college games, half of which came during his freshman season. It’s worth noting that Henderson’s back surgery could have had adverse effects on him, as he was named a freshman All-American by several publications his first year but has struggled to even stay at the top of the depth chart since.
With his current situation, Henderson’s draft status is very up in the air. Though he previously planned to enter the draft after his junior season, he decided to complete his career at Miami after he was told that he wouldn’t be taken until at least the middle rounds last year. Henderson believes that he can make himself a first rounder this year, but he obviously must improve. As of now, Henderson projects similarly to former Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell, as a raw tackle with good size who hasn’t done much in college. Campbell was a fourth rounder. But if Henderson falters again, it’s not completely out of the question that he could fall out of the draft completely. One thing is for sure; Henderson must improve substantially if he wants to give himself a shot at starting in the NFL.
- Overpowering strength when he gets a running start
- Good run blocker, very physical
- Gets very good arm extension at times
- Very solid when part of a double team; may be better suited as a guard in the NFL where it’s harder to beat him from outside
- Pulls well
- Plays in pro-style offense, good experience out of a three-point stance
- Plays to the whistle, works hard at getting down-field when necessary
- Performance may be looked on more favorably due to his inexperience; he has the opportunity to get much better at the professional level
- Major durability and character concerns, lack of starts due to back issues and concussion last year are offsetting, reportedly has had academic issues
- Consistently allows rushers to beat him by going around his outside shoulder, even by second-teamers in Miami’s spring game
- Horrible reaction time, will make him a turnstile in the NFL if not improved
- Gets pushed back too much for a player of his stature
- Not very mobile
- Plays too high, knees don’t bend well
- Bad cut blocker, when he drops to the ground defenders never go down with him
- Bad running technique when running downfield, runs with feet wide apart
- A right tackle at best; Miami has tried to move him to left tackle but he has never stuck
This is by far the most important season of Henderson’s career to date. He needs to be much more consistent for a team that is widely expected to finish first in the ACC Coastal Division and will be led by senior quarterback Stephen Morris. Henderson needs to avoid any more injuries or off-the-field issues, and if he wants to be considered in the first round next year he needs to dramatically improve his pass blocking. The spotlight will be on Henderson, and it’s time for him to once again execute on the potential that once upon a time made him the country’s top recruit.
2014 Draft Projection: 4th round