Seantrel Henderson was, at one point, expected to be a future first-round pick. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Bills, the reasons he fell to the seventh round might also be enough to stop the Miami offensive tackle and No. 237 overall selection from ever coming close to realizing his NFL potential.
From a physical standpoint, few prospects in this entire draft class have more upside than Henderson.
When Henderson has been at his best, he has shown real NFL potential. He can convert strength to power and overwhelm his opponents with his size.
He can engulf defenders with his length at the line of scrimmage, and he also has the lateral quickness to kick outside versus edge-rushers and the explosiveness to burst to the second level and pick up downfield blocks.
The Bills emphasize size and power on their offensive line and had a clear strategy in this draft to find massive blockers, as they drafted linemen who are at least 6’5”, 320 pounds with arms 34.625” or longer.
But while subpar athleticism is a concern for both second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio and fifth-round pick Cyril Richardson, it isn’t for Henderson. He is incredibly light on his feet for his size and won’t lose battles simply because he is too slow.
The problem is that for everything he does well, he does none of it with consistency. His technique is raw, and he doesn’t consistently exert his physical advantages, which will become much slimmer or nonexistent against NFL defenders.
Motivation and maturity have been huge issues for Henderson. He was suspended three times at Miami, which he told teams was due to marijuana use, according to Omar Kelly of The Sun-Sentinel. He made himself look far worse, however, when he tested positive for marijuana again at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Another apparent issue has been his conditioning. His performance tends to decline over the course of the game, and he made existing concerns about his stamina even greater when he became dehydrated during his pro day at Miami and failed to finish his workout, according to CBS Sports’ Rob Rang.
Henderson claims he is ready to turn the corner and put his troubled past behind him.
Henderson: "Everybody knows about my past. I'm ready to work hard and be a Buffalo Bill"— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) May 10, 2014
That’s less believable, however, after his problems resurfaced at the combine.
If he is motivated to work hard, and the Bills can develop him to a point where he starts realizing his potential, he could potentially develop into a starting-caliber right tackle. While that job should go to Kouandjio, it’s arguable that Henderson has more natural ability and could emerge as the better player.
Doug Whaley on Seantrel Henderson: “We talked to him. He knows he has one shot."— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) May 10, 2014
It’s also quite possible, however, that he won’t even be kept around for the regular-season roster. If he runs into any more off-field trouble, or even if he simply fails to meet the Bills’ expectations in training camp, he’ll likely be released.
Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL draft featured columnist for Bleacher Report.