Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Carlos Henderson

Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech
5-11, 199
Henderson was named both offensive and special teams player of the year in Conference USA in 2016 as a junior. He was a three year player for the Bulldogs.
As a freshman, he posted 29-569-4 as a receiver, and averaged 19.62 YPR. He returned 33 kicks for 826 yards and a score, and averaged 25.03 yards as a return man on kickoffs. As a sophomore, he posted 36-774-5 as a receiver and averaged 21.5 YPR. As a kick returner, he posted 21-463-0, and averaged 22.05 yards per return. In 2016, his final season, he posted 82-1535-19, and averaged 18.72 YPR. He added 25-805-2 as a kick return man, and averaged 32.2 yards per return.
The Good
One of the best return men in this draft. Exceptional speed helps, as he ran a 4.46 40 at the combine, and plays faster than that.
Very productive season in 2016, even after three years of playing second fiddle to Trent Taylor.
Quick cutter, and wastes almost nothing in his movements.
Can get behind defenders very easily on zone coverage.
He has some first rate moves off of the snap.
Solid control, and gets to the low balls as well.
Will catch balls away from his frame.
Plays with constructive aggression and power.
The Bad
Played against mostly poor competition, and was not really challenged much in a defensively deficient CUSA.
Finesse player who sometimes will depend too much on speed alone.
Played in a pass happy system, and still has work to do in learning about a route tree.
Lacking in basic fundamentals and is very raw.
Not a great tracker on long balls, and misses as many as he gets to.
Does not come back to the football.
Has some drop issues to work on.
Final Overview
I love him as a return man, and some of his deficiencies are based in coaching. If he gets to the next level, and has a solid WR coach to work with, he can really be a diamond in the rough long term. If you have the patience, and are willing to let him work through his field issues, he could be a steal, and could have immediate impact on kick returns as well, which is a bonus. I would take a flyer on him in the fourth round and wait him out to see what happens in a few years. There is potential here.

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