Texas A&M Football: Zaycoven Henderson has a lot to overcome to make it in NFL

Zaycoven Henderson, Texas A&M football (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Zaycoven Henderson, Texas A&M football (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football‘s Zaycoven Henderson was a solid college player, but character issues and a poor NFL Combine have hurt his 2018 NFL Draft stock.

Zaycoven Henderson was one of Texas A&M’s most consistent players on defense this season, although that isn’t saying much. He and Armani Watts were only among a handful of players who consistently made plays for a defense that struggled overall in 2017.

He was definitely missed in the Belk Bowl loss when the defense gave up 646 yards and 55 points to Wake Forest.

More: Too many are sleeping on Armani Watts

Henderson finished his senior season with 2.5 sacks and 5.0 tackles for loss. He was much better as a junior when he finished with 3.0 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss. Henderson played mostly for run support and in that regard he was a very solid college player.

While there are definitely some limitations to his game, maybe the biggest factor in when, or even if, Henderson gets drafted is his off-the-field issues.

Henderson was suspended the first two games of the 2015 season for violating team rules. Then, in December of this past year, he was arrested for pointing a rifle at people and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The team suspended him indefinitely and did not invite him to their Pro Day.

NFL teams will stay away from someone with a rap sheet like that even if they are the best player in the draft. Just look at how far Lionel Collins fell after simply being questioned by police.

Henderson is far from the top player at his position. He doesn’t possess high end speed or strength and that is alarming for a player who is undersized already. He turned in a poor performance at the combine, only registering as a top performer (top 10-15) in the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle, and even then was at the bottom of the list of top performers in both.

He has quickness, but that is to be expected for an undersized DT. Having said that, you would have liked to see Henderson rack up more sacks at the collegiate level with a quickness advantage. The truth is his first step is not anything to write home about so he doesn’t beat guys with speed.

Next: Watch Christian Kirk show off speed at NFL Combine

Henderson could get tossed around at the NFL. Putting on weight may help, but he’s already not fast nor strong. It could take away the only advantage he has in his agility. Unless he wowed teams at the combine in the interview stage, it’s likely he goes undrafted.

Draft Projection: 7th round to undrafted

Jeff Shull is a Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.