2012 NFL Draft: The 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Aaron Henry's Game
Aaron Henry is on a mission, and rightfully so.
The standout safety from the University of Wisconsin was not invited to participate in this year's NFL Combine after having an outstanding senior season where he was honored as first team All-Big Ten selection.
Now, he is making sure he does everything in his power to catch the eyes of NFL scouts and not only make it to the NFL, but succeed at the NFL level.
Henry has exceptional speed and fundamentals for the safety position. But what are his other strengths, what about several things he needs to work on in order to make it as a pro?
Let's take a look at six strengths and weaknesses of Aaron Henry.
Bleacher Report Style!
STRENGTH: Good Speed
Because Aaron Henry was not invited to the NFL Combine, he had more time to focus on testing well for his Pro Day, which he certainly did.
One aspect where Henry was especially impressive was with his speed. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at Wisconsin's pro day, which would have been the fourth fastest time among every safety invited to the combine.
With how fast wide receivers are nowadays in the NFL, it is important that safeties have good speed, which means that Henry already has a leg up on his competition in that department.
Aaron Henry has the speed needed to succeed at the safety position, but he isn't a great tackler—which is an important aspect when playing that position at the NFL level.
Henry is a converted cornerback, so tackling and making big hits were never something that was asked of him early on in his career.
He has the talent to match up with anyone, but what happens when a tight end or big wide receiver catches the ball in the open field and Henry is the only line of defense?
This is something that Henry will need to improve before he has a shot at being a starter.
In Henry's case, there are plenty of positives and negatives of being a converted defensive back, but one of the major positives is that he developed exceptional footwork for the defensive back position.
If Henry is ever left in one-on-one coverage, he has the on-ball skills, speed and needed footwork to stick with receivers.
He also has the lateral ability to change direction, which is all related to his exceptional footwork.
Henry is like a third or fourth defensive back out there, which at times, is certainly a good thing.
WEAKNESS: Not Very Tall
The top safety prospects in this year's draft are Alabama's Mark Barron, Notre Dame's Harrison Smith and Montana's Trumaine Johnson.
So what do all three of those safeties have in common?
They are all 6'2" or taller. And while Henry's testing results might be comparable to those three, he only stands at 6'0" tall, which is slightly undersized for an NFL safety.
In this day and age, teams are looking for safeties with good height, those that can cover the big-play tight ends like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates.
Henry's lack of height could make him fall in the draft, but he still has other intangibles to be a solid NFL safety down the road.
STRENGTH: Athletic Freak
He may not be the biggest safety in this year's draft class, but Aaron Henry could very well be the most athletic of any of the other safety products.
Not only does this kid posses great speed for the safety position, but he has some serious hops as well.
Henry leaped 39.5 inches at his Wisconsin pro day, which would have been the highest jump of any other safety that competed in this year's NFL Combine.
So why is this important?
I think so.
WEAKNESS: Lack of Experience at the Safety Position
Being athletic is a great asset when attempting to make it as a safety in the NFL. But as important as natural athleticism is, being instinctive is even more important.
In Aaron Henry's case, he is still working on that part of the equation because he has only played the safety position for two years now.
The NFL is a whole new game as far as coverages and defensive schemes are concerned, so there will certainly be an adjustment period for Henry because he is still relatively new to the position.
However, while you can't teach a guy how to grow, you can certainly teach him how to properly play and develop at a position.
This is something that Henry will improve on, it just takes time.