Round Four – Pick number 129: K.J. Henry, Edge Rusher, Clemson
At pick number 129, I’m selecting K.J. Henry from Clemson. We got Dak some help earlier and now it’s time to help Micah as well. In the fourth round, the Cowboys understand they are drafting traits and Henry has plenty of them. While he has the slender frame for an edge rusher, it didn’t stop him from making plays on the collegiate level. He has some ability to drop in coverage, but his best attribute is going forward.
I’m projecting him to be a hybrid edge rusher at the next level. He isn’t the athlete that his fellow Clemson alum Vic Beasley was, but he can get the job done. He measured in at 6’4″ 251 pounds. In Dan Quinn’s scheme, the bigger bulkier defensive edges are not always the preference. Take for example Dallas Cowboys free agent Dante Fowler, Jr. He is a whopping 6’3″ 255-pounds. K.J. Henry is not far behind as it relates to the size aspect.
He was a decent playmaker at Clemson, but the numbers probably won’t support that. In five seasons, he collected 125 tackles and 13.5 sacks. I’m more interested in the 64 hurries in his career and 26 quarterback hits. That tells me he’s making more of an impact than the numbers show.
He didn’t test as an elite athlete, and he doesn’t have the ultra-productive numbers as a counterpoint. Two big reasons he’ll be available in the fourth round. He ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash, 1.65 in the 10-yard split, 31.5″ vertical and 9’4″ broad jump. Again, the numbers were not great but still someone worth a draft selection.
What will Henry bring to the table for the Dallas Cowboys? In his rookie season, special teams is going to be his calling card. That does sound so cliche but with the loss of Luke Gifford it may be a vital piece to the team success. Long term, his pass rush ability can’t be underestimated. We don’t know if Dante Fowler is returning, and we don’t know what Tak Mckinley will add to this team. K.J. Henry would be a nice insurance policy.