2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Daiyan Henley

  • Daiyan Henley, 6-2/225

  • Inside Linebacker

  • Washington State

  • Daiyan Henley Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Good instincts
  • Effective run defender
  • Sideline-to-sideline speed
  • Good tackler
  • Physical
  • Quick
  • Diagnosis skills
  • Read-and-react skills
  • Fits a 4-3 or 3-4 defense
  • Always around the ball
  • Quick to the flat
  • Closing speed
  • Rangy
  • Advanced pass-coverage linebacker
  • Can help cover against tight ends and running backs
  • Can drop into zone coverage
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Strong, thick build
  • Durable
  • Athletic upside
  • Locker room leader
  • Upside; continues to improve

  • Weaknesses:
  • A little underweight
  • Not consistently a violent tackler
  • Not regularly explosive on contact

  • Summary: Henley started out his collegiate career playing wide receiver at Nevada. After two seasons, Henley switched to defense for 2019 and promptly suffered a season-ending injury. In 2020, he had 49 tackles in his first decent amount of playing time. Henley then broke out in 2021 with 103 tackles and four interceptions. Prior to his redshirt senior year, Henley transferred to Washington State. He then had an excellent 2022 season with the Cougars, totaled 106 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, a pass broken up and one interception. After the season, Henley had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl and performed well at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

    Henley is a solid tackler in the ground game, wrapping up ball-carriers and getting them to the ground. However, Henley slides into some tackles and does not always arrive with violence. It would be good to see him become more forceful and violent as a tackler for the next level. That would help to avoid missed tackles and being dragged for extra yardage. Henley has enough size and mentality to take on blocks, hold his ground, shed the block, and get in on tackles. He is also a fast defender with sideline-to-sideline speed. Henley is a dangerous seek-and-destroy linebacker who hunts down backs with a serious burst. He is a very good run defender and projects to be an asset to shut down and limit the offense’s ground game.

    In pass coverage, Henley is a skilled defender. He is very fast as a blitzer, displaying excellent diagnosis skills. Henley reads plays quickly and covers a lot of ground in zone. He has the speed to run down the middle seam. On dump-off passes to the flat, Henley flies into the ball-carrier and is good at making tackles in space. His size and athleticism give him the potential to play some man coverage on tight ends and backs out of the backfield.

    Henley looks likely to be a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He might get late first-round consideration from some NFL teams and should not fall out of Round 2.

    Player Comparison: Lavonte David. Henley reminds me of David. David (6-1, 230) and Henley are nearly identical in size and showed sideline-to-sideline speed in college. David was a second-round pick, and Henley should go in the second round this year during the 2023 NFL Draft.


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