Seantrel Henderson's Pro Day Misstep Might Be Nail in Coffin of OT's Draft Stock

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystApril 3, 2014

Miami's Seantrel Henderson (77) stretches during pre-game warmups prior to an NCAA college football game against Duke in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome

Back in 2010, Seantrel Henderson was one of the most coveted prospects in all of high school football. Not only was it assumed that Henderson would be dominant in college, but the general consensus was we were looking at a future Pro Bowler in the making.

After all, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that this was a player recruiting guru Tom Lemming once called "a cross between Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace."

However, not only did Henderson's collegiate career not go at all according to plan, but now, after a disastrous pro day at the University of Miami, there's a very real chance that Henderson isn't going to be drafted at all.

The 6'7", 331-pounder entered Thursday's workout with a lot on the line. Miami's pro day offered one last big opportunity to show off the size and quickness that made Henderson such a highly prized recruit coming out of high school.

Instead, ESPN's Chris Mortensen notes that Henderson reminded everyone of all the wrong things:

Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald passed along some info on Henderson's workout, which was closed to the media:

Henderson was unable to finish his workout and by several accounts did not impress in the drills he did complete. The University of Miami, unlike other universities, keeps the workouts closed to the media so this is all second-hand from witnesses and sources.

Henderson did not speak with the media after the workout. David Levine, Henderson's agent, told The Herald's Barry Jackson that Henderson felt dehydrated and sick and that was the reason he had to stop.

In other words, Henderson's pro day went about the same way as his collegiate career did—downhill from the weigh-in onward.

Of course, it wasn't supposed to be that way. In fact, back in 2010, Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated called Henderson "probably the most polished lineman of the past decade."

That's also right about the time the trouble started. Henderson originally committed to USC, but asked to be released from that commitment in wake of the NCAA sanctions imposed on Southern Cal for the Reggie Bush affair.

Henderson then enrolled at Miami and actually fared pretty well in nine starts at right tackle as a freshman.

That's about as good as things got.

Prior to his sophomore season, Henderson had back surgery. It was only the first in a never-ending litany of issues for Henderson with the Hurricanes. Injuries. Three separate suspensions. A 2012 run-in with the law. Demotion from the starting lineup for three games as a senior.

According to Omar Kelly of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Henderson admitted to scouts at January's Senior Bowl that his suspensions at Miami were for failed drug tests:

I'm just being honest with every team and letting them know exactly what the situations were, and that I'm putting all the negative things behind me moving on to the next level. I want to be a starter and play in the NFL. I'm showing my character. Showing them that I'm responsible, reliable, dependable. I want to keep letting them know all the negative things are behind me.

The problem, of course, is that saying you're showing your character and then actually showing it are two different things.

Mind you, by no means is it my intent to in any way infer that Seantrel Henderson is a bad guy. He's a kid. Kids make mistakes. College kids are experts at it.

However, Henderson is also a very physically imposing young man who hasn't really given any indication that he wants to play football badly enough to be a difference-maker in the NFL. His effort and motor on the field have been every bit as sketchy as his decisions off it.

It's a conundrum scouts like Bucky Brooks of have been wrestling with for months:

It also made the workouts at the combine in February and Thursday in Coral Gables all the more important.

In that regard, just as he has throughout his collegiate career, Henderson once again disappointed.

Yes, maybe it was just a bad break. Even if Henderson's "competitive spirit took over and he did a full combine”—as his agent told  of The Sun-Sentinelit doesn't bode well that his conditioning gave out during one of the most important workouts of his life.

It certainly caught the eye of at least one draftnik:

Still, it's just one more black mark on a scorecard filling up with them.

Yes, Henderson cuts an imposing figure and it's easy to daydream about the damage that figure could do in the NFL.

But then reality sets in. The disappointing and inconsistent career at Miami. The character concerns. And now a faceplant in his last big chance to impress NFL scouts.

It's becoming easier to imagine Seantrel Henderson not being drafted at all.


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