How Florida’s CJ Henderson is flying up draft boards

Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm details how the Gators defensive back has become one of the hot names in this year’s NFL draft class.

Video Transcript

EVAN DOHERTY: Time to look at what CJ Henderson is made of brought to you by USAA.

I'm Evan Doherty here with Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm. Eric, we talked about CJ a few weeks ago in this segment, but he has shot up draft boards, including your player rankings. What is making him such a hot name just days from the draft?

ERIC EDHOLM: Well, he better be good. I think I've got him in my top six or seven.

So I think it's really the coverage skills that people are going to want to see. And this is a quarterback class that has sort of a mixed bag a little bit. And especially when you go back and watch the 2018 tape, I thought Henderson was maybe one of the best cornerbacks in college football that year.

Last season, a little more inconsistent. Some people suggested, hey, was he trying to play for a pro career, kind of preserve his body a little bit? Passed up some tackling opportunities. The more teams I've talked to, the less worried they are about the tackling issues. They don't think that's a big deal, and they see somebody who has the ability to stick with speed receivers, to compete with the ball for tall guys as well. That's really what makes him so attractive.

EVAN DOHERTY: Yeah, valuable skills for that position. So now where do you think he possibly lands on Thursday night? He's starting to fall in a lot of mocks now between about 6 and 10.

ERIC EDHOLM: Yeah, I can see him going in that range. And I think his floor might be 16 with Atlanta if they don't move up. They're in need of a cover guy as well. So I think somewhere in the top half of round one. Hard to see him cracking that top five, but I absolutely think that's where he's in play. And there are four or five teams in that range that like him a lot or at least will consider him the way the board falls and depending on how that all happens.

So cornerback, offensive tackle, pass rusher, quarterback, those are the premium positions. They don't typically last long if they've got Henderson's skill.

EVAN DOHERTY: Well, Henderson could become the first Florida Gator DB to be drafted in the first round since Vernon Hargreaves in 2016. We'll see exactly where he ends up Thursday night. Thanks so much, Eric.

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