Florida CB CJ Henderson Declares for 2020 NFL Draft, Will Skip Bowl Game

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

Florida defensive back CJ Henderson takes up his position during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Florida Gators will be without one of their best defensive players for their bowl game.

On Friday, cornerback CJ Henderson announced he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL draft. He also revealed he will not play in his team's bowl game and thanked his supporters, saying, "My time as a Gator has been a dream come true, and I am truly blessed to be in this position."

Henderson is one of Florida's best playmakers and is routinely tasked with matching up against the opponent's best receiver.

He appeared in 30 games over the last three seasons and finished the 2019 campaign with a team-leading 11 pass breakups. He is also 6'1", 202 pounds, and Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports noted "his athleticism and length make him a top prospect at the position, something that will surely appeal to NFL scouts."

It would be a surprise if Henderson didn't get picked in the first round.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked him as the 20th-best player on his most recent big board and projected him to be selected 17th overall by the Indianapolis Colts in his most recent mock draft.

Henderson is "a feisty cornerback with NFL-level speed and instincts," Miller wrote.

As for the bowl game he will miss, Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report projected Florida to be included in the New Year's Six games with a Cotton Bowl matchup against Memphis.

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