Photo of Erin Henderson
Grade
?
  • 31.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 242LBS. Weight

Overview

Like his older brother, E.J. of the Minnesota Vikings, Erin is an instinctive, physical defender who is at his best attacking the running game.

Also like E.J, unfortunately, Erin has struggled throughout his career with injuries. He tore the ACL in his left knee in preseason camp, forcing him to miss the entire 2005 season. He returned in 2006 to enjoy his healthiest year, but was hampered again last season with a torn meniscus and sprained ACL in the same knee. Later, he was slowed by back pain.

When healthy, there is no denying Henderson's talent. A year after tearing his ACL, he started 12 games at weak-side linebacker, leading the Terps with 114 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles on his way to Second Team ACC honors. This season, despite missing the Georgia Tech game, he earned First Team ACC honors, leading the team with 122 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries from his weak-side position. Henderson led the ACC in tackles per game (11.09), a number that ranked eighth in the country.

He reads the action quickly, and is athletic and strong enough with his hands to get through blocks on his way to the ballcarrier. Electing to leave after his junior season is a risk, as the Combine medical tests will push, pull and prod on his body to make sure he is healthy.

Though he has only played weak-side throughout his career with the Terps, Henderson's size gives his future NFL coaches plenty of options. The health is a concern, of course, but if Henderson checks out okay, he'll be among the first linebackers considered come April.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Well-built athlete. ... Chiseled frame with room for additional growth. ... Good key and diagnosis skills. ... Reads the action quickly and puts himself in position to make a play on the ball. ... Aggressive to attack the line of scrimmage. ... Good lateral quickness to break down in space and make the secure open-field tackle. ... Good speed to the flanks. ... Can beat the running back to the edge. ... Good in pursuit. ... Protects his knees and avoids the trash while keeping his head up. ... At least adequate feel for coverage. ... Good overall athleticism. ... Has shown the ability to bounce back from major surgery with no loss of speed or aggression. ... Has improved throughout his career and appears to be an ascending player. ... Good bloodlines. ... Brother, E.J. ... a former two-time All-American for Maryland, now a starting linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. ... Negatives: Has struggled with injuries throughout his career. ... Torn ACL in his left knee caused him to miss the entire 2005 season. ... Missed only one game, but was held out of practice (only playing on Saturday) in many more games this season after tearing the meniscus and spraining the ACL in the same knee. ... Relies too much on his athleticism to evade blocks, rather than physically confronting them.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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