When the seventh round of the NFL Draft rolls around, it’s pretty much common knowledge that this round is an opportunity for teams to take risks, and that’s exactly what the Buffalo Bills did when they drafted former University of Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson with the 237th overall selection. Henderson – a player that many analysts and scouts feel had first round size and talent - fell all the way into the seventh round due to many off-the-field concerns. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock called the former Hurricane “one of the biggest boom or bust guys in the draft.”
“Seantrel Henderson to me is one of the biggest boom or bust guys in the draft. A year ago I watched him against the kid Bjoern Werner of FSU who went in the first round and he shut him out. You see him play at that level sometimes and a completely different and lower level other times. There’s no consistency with this kid at all. From a talent perspective he’s a first or second round pick. But I don’t see him getting picked anywhere near there. I think he’s probably a 4th round pick. It is a buyer beware.” – Mike Mayock.
Henderson found success early in his career at “The U,” and started nine of the 12 games he appeared in. The 331 lb. freshman’s efforts were good enough to be named a Freshman All-American. However, the new Bill made his first mistake off the field a year later, missing the first game of the season thanks to a suspension due to marijuana use.
Marijuana use continued to be a theme for Henderson during his junior year, and Henderson was suspended during spring practice and in that year, the seventh round draft pick started in seven games. However, Henderson began turning his Miami career around in his senior year. As a senior, Seantrel started in nine games and was suspended for one – due to marijuana use, yet again – and a played as a back-up for three games. Henderson’s efforts were good enough to make the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Honorable Mention Team.
At this point in Henderson’s career, some NFL executives thought that the tackle’s prior marijuana use would be put behind him if he passed the drug test at the NFL Combine.
“As long as he doesn’t fail the combine’s drug test, we can get past that… Plenty of teams take chances on players with his talent,” said an anonymous NFL executive quoted by The Sun Sentinel.
Considering Henderson failed his drug test at the NFL Combine, that was most likely the last straw and the reason he fell to the Bills in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. However, falling so far in the draft could be a blessing in the sky for Henderson; a wake up call of sorts.
“Everybody knows about my past. I’m ready to work hard and be a Buffalo Bill,” Henderson said.
Since Seantrel Henderson was taken in the seventh round, he might have the highest ceiling of any player drafted this past weekend. No one is asking Henderson to come in and start on the Bills’ offensive line from day one, but if he can come in, work hard and overcome his off-the-field issues, he may make be able to not only make Buffalo’s final roster, he could also make an impact on the field one day. One thing is for sure, if anyone can straighten out a troubled lineman with disciplinary issues, it’s Doug Marrone.