C.J. Henderson Believes He Could Be the Fastest Cornerback at the NFL Combine
Entering the NFL Combine with outside expectations being that he'll exit a winner of the event, former Florida Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson is confident that those expectations could come to fruition.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated NFL staff writer Conor Orr, ahead of the Combine, Henderson stated that he believes his 40 yard dash time could end up being the fastest time of any cornerback in Indianapolis.
"Yeah, I think it's possible," Henderson told Orr of the idea that he could take home the 40 yard dash crown.
Henderson, 21, declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season. Starting for the Gators over the past three years, Henderson tallied six interceptions, 20 defended passes, and allowed only 52.7% of his 110 targets in coverage to be caught, per Pro Football Focus.
Coming out of high school, Henderson clocked a 4.35 40 yard dash at 6-1, 179 lbs., according to ESPN. That speed translated to the field, and while Florida lists Henderson at 202 lbs. on their 2019 roster, it never appeared as if he lost any speed along the way.
Within his interview with the former Gator, Orr noted that Henderson's speed had led to an appreciation of fast cars, or so he had heard through the grapevine. Naturally, that got Henderson started on what car he'll purchase after being drafted.
"Yeah I look forward to buying a Hellcat Charger," said Henderson. "My first car was a Dodge Charger so I really liked Dodge the most, definitely one of the cars I wanted. I don’t have a particular color in mind, I don’t want it to stand out too much."
As things stand, Henderson is frequently projected as a first-to-early second-round pick by various NFL Draft analysts and scouts. SI NFL Draft analyst Kevin Hanson considers Henderson to be the No. 2 cornerback in the class, and in AllGators' most recent Gators-specific seven-round mock draft, Henderson was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 20th overall pick.
Henderson told Orr that he looks to Arizona Cardinals All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson's tape to mold his game, among others. He was highly complimentary of fellow Florida draft prospect, wide receiver Van Jefferson, when speaking with Sports Illustrated.
"I got to go against some really talented receivers in college but I think the best one I got to go against was my teammate, Van Jefferson," Henderson told Orr.
Jefferson, 23, stood out during the 2020 Senior Bowl and significantly boosted his draft stock in a historically deep wide receiver class. He was sent to the Miami Dolphins with the 70th pick (third round) in AllGators' latest mock.
"In practice and everything else, that was who prepared me for each and every game," Henderson said of his former teammate. "He’s definitely one of the best guys I went against."