E.J. Henderson Scouting Report

Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview gives his analysis of the Vikings' second-round pick, linebacker E.J. Henderson.

Name: E.J. Henderson School: Maryland Year: 5Sr

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 245 40: 4.83 Pos: ILB

Bio: Three-year starter and multiple award winner throughout college. Named first-team All-Conference, All-American, captured the Dick Butkus Award and recipient of the Chuck Bednarik Trophy as a senior. Finished the season with a team leading 175 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, while intercepting 2 passes and breaking up 4 more. ACC Player of the Year as a junior posting 150/28/6/1/4. Broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and led the team in tackles registering 109/13/.5. Originally considered entering the 2002 draft but back surgery in April of that season halted consideration. Recently ran a 4.66 during private workouts.

Pos: Forceful, run-defending linebacker best making plays in the box. Heady, quickly reads the action and plays discipline football, staying with assignments. Forceful up the field, defeats blocks on his way to the ball carrier and takes opponents out of the action. Explosive filling the gaps, then squares into tackles wrapping up. Scrapes well laterally, adequate skills covering the pass in zone and always working hard. Effective on special teams.

Neg: Stiff, lacks body control and a quick change of direction. Does not show a burst of speed or lateral speed. Limited skill in pass defense.

Analysis: Marginal speed and range pose a problem and limits the number of defensive schemes he'll fit. Best on the inside in a 3-4 alignment or as a two-down defender in a 43 defense. Productive at the next level if used properly, otherwise will struggle.


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