In January, this review would have looked much different. At the end of last year, Carlos Henderson was a promising 3rd round pick who unfortunately got injured and had to redshirt his rookie season.
Six months, a marijuana possession charge, two rookie receiver draft picks, and a hamstring injury later Henderson is fighting for his spot on the team in a crowded position group.
Name: Carlos Henderson
Position: Wide Receiver
College: Louisiana Tech
I talked a lot about Henderson’s elite abilities after the catch a few days ago, so be sure to check out that post here. I really liked Henderson as a prospect coming out last year, and several different draft analysts thought he could be a potential steal in the 3rd round.
Billed as a slot receiver due to his size, Henderson actually spent much of his monster statistical season on the outside, lining up on the line of scrimmage for 91% of his snaps.
Although he ran a limited route tree in college, Henderson’s success rate versus press and zone coverage was top of the 2017 wide receiver class according to Reception Perception metrics.
In my mind, he compares better to guys like Golden Tate, Tavon Austin, and Denard Robinson - outside receivers who double as running backs after the catch.
Henderson also has kick return ability and showed well in that capacity while at Louisiana Tech.
Before his injury, Henderson was coming along slowly in camp, which is understandable given his offense in college. This offseason hasn’t started off very well for him either as he has struggled to stay on the field and make plays, being bothered by a lingering hamstring issue.
Vance Joseph was asked about Carlos Henderson at his press conference a few days ago, and did not pull any punches on the young receiver.
“He’s got a hamstring,” Joseph said. “It started in Phase 2 and hasn’t gotten better. He’s got to get back on the field if he wants to make this football team.”
He went on to add, “You can’t make the football team on the sideline, so those guys have got to get back on the field, especially in that room. It’s a competitive room and it’s a full room. If you’re not practicing, your chances of making the team are slim to none.”
I think Joseph was calling Henderson out to hopefully create some motivation for him to step it up against the two new youngsters. I don’t see Denver letting Henderson go so soon after spending a 3rd round pick on him just a year ago, and him not even getting a chance to be on the field.
The only thing that could tip the scales is the organization’s opinion on his marijuana charge and how/if that shakes out with the league office.
Henderson has potential to be a solid contributor this year, and fit really well with Denver’s new plans on offense. He just has to get healthy, and make some plays in practice/preseason and show he deserves to be on this team.
I still have high hopes for Henderson, and think we’ll see good things from him if he’s given a chance to rehab, and not rush back onto the field.