By this point, everyone knows the name of Jeff Okudah — the consensus CB1 and a likely top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But we simply are not talking enough about how deep this cornerback class is nor are we talking enough about the few elite corner prospects right behind Okudah. One of them is Florida’s CJ Henderson — a gifted athlete who easily owns the best man-to-man traits in this draft class following Okudah.
It was evident that Henderson was a special talent since day one of his collegiate career back in 2017. Opposing quarterbacks have been flat-out scared to target him in coverage, as he has routinely locked down his opponent. In his three seasons playing for the Gators, Henderson was targeted every 7.2 coverage snaps played on the outside, which is well over a full coverage snap above the FBS average in that span and in the 90th percentile among qualifying corners.
And he accomplished that playing in the toughest conference in college football, the SEC.
Henderson allowed 20 catches or less in all three seasons he played, going toe-to-toe with some of the best competition in the country. He saw perhaps his toughest matchup of his college career this past year when he went up against Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase of LSU. In that one-on-one battle on the outside, Henderson mostly shut down Chase, who saw five targets against Henderson in single coverage that day and caught two for 20 yards (one touchdown) — and three of those five targets were contested. That’s not too shabby against college football’s best wide receiver.
As said in the 1,100-plus page PFF Draft Guide, Henderson has uncoachable traits and is just stupid athletic.