Carolina Panthers reportedly looking to draft Florida CB Henderson

(Photo by Getty Images) CJ Henderson
(Photo by Getty Images) CJ Henderson /

The Carolina Panthers have reportedly set their sights on Florida cornerback CJ Henderson with their top-ten pick, according to a recent report.

Florida cornerback CJ Henderson is high on the Carolina Panthers’ list of NFL Draft prospects, according to a recent report.

Draft expert and Denver Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey told the Stokely and Zach Show on 1043 The Fan that the Panthers are looking to acquire the player within the first ten picks later this month.

Carolina has two options if they wish to go in this particular direction. They could take Henderson with the No.7 pick, which would be a little bit of a reach for a top-15 player.

The organization can also trade back a couple of spots and still be in a position to draft Henderson, which could see them gain another valuable draft selection and add to the eight they currently have.

One snag the Panthers may have is the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons’ desire to trade up with a view to taking Henderson. NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported that Atlanta has done considerable research on possible top-ten picks with a view to moving up.

Henderson is believed to be high on their shortlist, which would leave Carolina’s chances of snagging a potential shutdown corner hanging in the balance.

Henderson came out of high school as a four-star recruit and he ended up snagging four interceptions during his freshman season with the Gators.

He followed this up with two picks and 26 tackles in 2018 and although he did not come up with an interception during nine games this season, he did finish with 11 pass breakups and a sack.

At 6-foot-1, Henderson has impressive size, but he will need to work on beefing up his upper body to cope with the rigors of the NFL. The Panthers are in desperate need of reinforcements at the position, which becomes more urgent when one considers the firepower expected from other NFC South teams next season.

If Jeff Okudah is top of the cornerback prospects, then Henderson undoubtedly leads the next group. He has tremendous footwork and possesses the sort of quickness that will ensure he isn’t undone down the field.

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Rookie cornerbacks generally struggle during their first year in the NFL. It is an unforgiving position to play in from day one and if the Panthers decide to take a chance on Henderson, they will have to be convinced he has the character to step up from the outset.