Indianapolis — Friday, at the NFL Combine, the prospective quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends met with the media. While the Denver Broncos already have the likes of star wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, as well potential starters Cody Latimer and Jordan Taylor, it should be beyond obvious that the team could add talent to the group.
While Thomas and Sanders are studs, and Latimer and Taylor have potential, GM John Elway would be wise to look for a receiver who could play slot, as well as add a threat in the return game. One wide receiver that the Broncos have ‘unofficially’ met with, is Louisiana Tech’s Carlos Henderson.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1759045-watch-john-elway-speaks-a... When I asked about the prospect of coming to Denver and playing between Sanders and Thomas, Henderson responded with a twinkle in his eye, sporting backpack and a big smile.
"Oh, man. Anybody who drafts me, I would be proud to play for and give it my best shot and full effort," Henderson said. "But between two guys like that? That would be perfect."
Henderson is one of the more explosive wide receivers in this draft class and although he won’t take the field to participate in field drills until Saturday, I would be willing to bet my best pair of socks that he performs as well in the athletic drills as any wide receiver in this class. Standing at an official 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds, Henderson was recruited to play both wide receiver and running back to a number of different programs, but in the end settled with Louisiana Tech.
When looking at Henderson, it is no surprise that he played running back — he is the definition of ‘jacked’. With the ball in his hands, there are very few receivers in this class that showed the pure open field explosion that Henderson did game in and game out for the Bulldogs.
Hauling in an incredible 82 receptions for 1,535 yards and 19 touchdowns — as well as 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns — Henderson was as production machine this last year.
When watching Henderson, he is a natural fit for the Broncos and would be highly productive year one in Mike McCoy's offense. He is versatile enough to play inside in the slot, as well as out wide. While he needs to continue to polish his route running ability, he is so athletic in and out of his breaks that even if he ends up just an average route runner, he is going to get open.
Furthermore, Henderson needs to continue to work on using his hands to catch the ball. Too often he is happy to let the ball into his frame, which in the NFL may lead to some dropped passes. However, Henderson is the definition of electric with the ball in his hands both in the pass game, the run game, and the return game and would add a weapon Denver has needed for the last few years on the offense.
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The most underrated aspect of Henderson’s game is, by far, his blocking. Wide receivers are often considered ‘divas’ across the NFL, about getting as many catches as they can muster as well as pulling off from physical contact. When watching the tape, it is obvious that Henderson does not dislike contact.
On several occasions watching him, you can see him de-cleat opposing corners, safeties, and even linebackers, opening up massive gaps for the running back and springing them open for big games. Henderson may be under six foot, but he plays tougher than many offensive lineman.
Denver likely will not use a first round selection on a wide receiver this season. They have invested a lot of the salary cap already in their top two options to use such a high draft pick again on the position, especially with needs on the offensive line, tight end, and the defensive side of the ball.
Where Denver should look at add another weapon to the passing game, which coincidentally is the sweet spot for wide receivers in this class, is day two to early day three. Carlos Henderson very well could explode in the field drills tomorrow and rocket himself up draft boards, but if his stock remains as a late day two early day three player, he just may be the adrenaline shot the Broncos’ offense needs to get to the next level.
Nick Kendell is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @NickKendellMHH.
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