By Charlie Campbell
Summary: A lot of NFL teams want well-rounded three-down tight ends but those can be a tough commodity to find. That is why you can see tight ends have long NFL careers, and good ones can be real mismatch problems for defenses. The 2016 NFL Draft lacks talent at the tight end position, though the one exception to that is Henry. He would be an early round pick in any draft class.
As a freshman, Henry made an impact for the Razorbacks with 28 receptions for 409 yards and four scores. He (37-513-2) was also a receiving weapon in 2014 before producing his biggest season as a junior. Henry had 51 receptions for 739 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. All three years, he contributed to Arkansas’ tough rushing offense, but as a junior, Henry was at his best in terms of blocking.
Sources have said they really like Henry. He is a balanced player and more complete than other top tight end prospects. The juniot is a good blocker and a tough receiver who can get some yards after the reception with sneaky athleticism and running ability. One of Henry’s impressive traits are his soft hands. He rarely ever dropped a pass and did an excellent job of securing passes.
Henry has the quickness to get down the seam. He is adept at finding soft spots in zone and going up to make difficult catches. He has the speed to get separation from linebackers and uses his size to make receptions over defensive backs. Henry is a good route-runner and doesn’t take extra steps out of his break. While Henry isn’t a burner for a tight end, he has enough speed to get downfield and get open.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Henry isn’t the sexiest of draft picks but he looks like a potential 10-year quality starter. He is deserving of late first-round consideration and shouldn’t get out of the second round.
Player Comparison: Heath Miller. Henry reminds me of Miller. Miller’s career hasn’t seen him be as prolific a receiver as Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates, but Miller has been a well-rounded blocker who has provided steady and consistent production. Like Miller, Henry contributes to the ground game and passing attack. Miller was the 30th-overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, and Henry could also be a late first-rounder this year.
NFL Matches: Atlanta, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago and New Orleans
There are a lot of teams that could use tight end help and this is a weak tight end draft, so Henry should be in demand on draft day. In the back half of the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Falcons are probably the highest that Henry could hope to go. Atlanta has yet to find a capable replacement for Tony Gonzalez, and with Roddy White declining, the Falcons need more weapons for Matt Ryan. If Atlanta upgrades its pass rush in free agency, that could increase Henry’s chances of landing with the Falcons.
The Packers have to upgrade their tight end position and Henry would be a great fit. He makes all sorts of sense for Green Bay.
Houston’s tight ends were a huge weak link on its offense last year. If the Texans don’t have a quarterback or running back available, Henry could be in play for them.
In the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Henry has a few landing spots. Chicago could use a tight end if it cuts or trades Martellus Bennett. Henry also could make sense for the Saints in the second round as they still need a legitimate replacement for Jimmy Graham.
Indianapolis could lose Dwayne Allen and Colby Fleener in free agency. If they lose both, tight end would have to be a consideration. However, the Colts have much bigger needs to address in the first and second round so re-signing one seems more logical.
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