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Miami OT Seantrel Henderson Still Worth Late Round Pick, Even After Pro Day Debacle

Seantrel Henderson

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like it’s just one thing after another for Miami OT Seantrel Henderson.

After a tumultuous recruitment, followed by three suspensions and four inconsistent years on the field, Henderson recently walked out on his Pro Day.

You may be wondering why someone who should be using his Pro Day to boost his 2014 NFL Draft stock would simply quit during a drill and walk out, especially when there are scouts, execs and coaches from 30 NFL teams watching.  Well, according to his agent, he became dehydrated and started getting a “super bad headache”.  Naturally when someone gets a headache during a job interview, you usually just get up and walk out, right?

No, there’s no point in trying to justify this or spin it in a positive way.  What’s done is done.

But after shaking your head at the latest instance of an incredibly gifted athlete wasting his God-given abilities due to boneheaded mistakes and immaturity, you probably stumbled to the same question that went through my mind.  Should Henderson even be drafted at this point?  Should a team waste an oh-so-precious draft pick on a guy who, more than likely, won’t ever come close to sniffing his immense potential?

Absolutely.

If Henderson is still around in the 6th, 7th rounds, why wouldn’t you take a flyer on him?

The value would be superb.  You’d be getting a guy who, on talent and raw skills alone, is arguably the second most talented lineman in the draft behind Greg Robinson (Auburn).  He’s got the size, strength, feet and athleticism to be a truly elite LT in the NFL.  Heck, he’s been billed as a franchise LT since his sophomore year at the prodigious Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul (MN), where he was a two time USA Today All American.  The legendary Tom Lemming even called him a cross between Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace, two of the best OT’s in the history of the sport.

Financially, the risk wouldn’t be bad at all.  Ryan Jensen, a lineman drafted in the 6th round of last years draft by the Baltimore Ravens, signed a four-year, $2.2 million dollar deal, averaging out to just around $600k a year.  In our humble worlds, that’s an awful lot of money.  In the NFL, it’s pennies.  Plus, this isn’t MLB, where contracts are fully guaranteed. This is the NFL baby, the only thing that’s guaranteed is your signing bonus.  Sign him today, cut him tomorrow, no biggie.  And you can work the contract out to make it more incentive-based with clauses for controlling his weight, attendance at workouts, etc.

No, he hasn’t come close to realizing realizing his potential.  His play for the ‘Canes was inconsistent at best.  But he’s also just 22 years old.  He’s still maturing and developing.  Tell me, who didn’t made boneheaded mistakes in their teenage years and their early 20’s? I think being around veteran NFL guys, in an NFL locker room, with NFL coaches and NFL money on the table, he just might turn things around.

It’s a risk, sure, but every pick in the draft is a risk.  It’s a situation where the potential reward (a perennial Pro Bowl LT) vastly outweighs the potential risk (he’s a dud, gets cut in training camp).

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.

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