KJ Henry 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Consensus top-30 overall recruit in the country coming out of high school
- Was a prominent basketball player in high school, averaging more than 10 ppg across 115 contests
- Earned his master’s degree in athletic leadership in four years
- Scheme tendencies: Even front defense with blend of games and gap exchanges up front.
- 2022 projected role: Rotational EDGE, designated pass rusher
Pros: KJ Henry checks a lot of boxes to be a prototypical 4-3 end or power rush linebacker. With high-level length, effective hand usage, and an understanding of how to stack blocks, I have a good deal of confidence that Henry is a high-floor prospect who will make a team very happy in a rotational role at the next level. What else he becomes beyond that may be dictated by his performance this year to inspire growth in his ability to rush the passer. He shows good promise in this regard with heavy hands, a strong motor, and a firm sense of pushing through softer angles to collapse the pocket. With 10 sacks to his credit entering the season, I think the expectations should probably be in line with who Shaq Lawson has been (from the same college defense) in the NFL—a 50/60% snap player who wins at the point of attack. Henry may have more in the tank but the Clemson front is and has been absolutely loaded, leaving him in largely a rotational role to keep bodies fresh up front. But if you like gap control players with length and an ability to collapse the pocket, you should find some appeal in Henry’s game, for sure.
Cons: The primary question I have entering 2022 is how much more dynamic KJ Henry can become as a pass rusher. He has plenty of tools—power and length are primary among them. But what kind of built-out rush plan can he showcase? How much variety in his counters can he get? And with the depth of the line, I’m not certain we’re going to get enough of a sample size versus the rest of his playing career to find the confidence needed to do anything other than project—which creates more variance in the outcomes if you want to draft him early. I do think his athletic profile could be something that hinders him from becoming a dynamic pressure player or a 10-plus sack per year threat, but I also think this is someone whose 5-7 sack per season ceiling would make him a very valuable pick on day two regardless with what he brings at the point of attack.
KJ Henry NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs