Before Combine: Hgt: 6027, Wgt: 242, 40YD: 4.58-4.67-4.76
Draft Scout Snapshot:2008 Postseason update (04/04/08): Stock: Steady. A bit of a inside-outside linebacker tweener, teams still like his intensity and active play. Ran poor 40s (best 4.73) at the Combine and was adequate in the other drills.
2007: First-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick…Butkus Award semi-finalist (nation's top linebacker) who led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation in tackles per game (11.08)...Named to the preseason watch list for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award, which each honor going to the top defensive player in the country…Paced the Terps with a career-high 133 tackles (59 solos), including a 7-yard sack and eleven stops for losses of 29 yards…Caused a fumble and recovered four others, returning two for 39 yards…Had an 8-yard interception return and two pass deflections…Also carried once for a 12-yard gain… Started twelve games at weak-side linebacker, sitting out the Georgia Tech clash with a left knee sprain and torn meniscus. 13 GP; 12 GS; 114 TT, 6.5 TFL, 1 SK, 2 INT, 2 PBU, 3 FF; Second-team All-ACC in '06. Missed the entire '05 season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in the second week of fall camp. Redshirt in '04.
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Henderson was the school's first Playbay All-American (2007) selection since his brother, E.J., was chosen to that same squad in 2002. The consummate team player, he made the switch from quarterback to linebacker in 2004, growing from a 205-pound passer into the 236-pound terror on the playing field he has become over the last two years.
A true warrior, he has battled left knee problems ever since sitting out the 2005 campaign due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear. In 2007, he spent most of the practice weeks on the sideline with a meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament sprain in the same knee, putting forth a valiant effort on the field.
The Terrapins have had a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker in five of the last seven seasons. Henderson's brother, E.J., (2001-02), and D'Qwell Jackson (2004-05) were first-team choices. Erin, who also received All-ACC, All-American and Butkus Award semifinalist recognition as a junior, finishing his two-year career with 247 tackles, leading the conference in tackles in 2007 while ranking second the previous season.
At Aberdeen High School, Henderson was a four-year starter who played quarterback and linebacker, excelling on both sides of the ball. He was named Baltimore Sun Player of the Year as a senior, and he was also a first-team All-State (Associated Press), All-Metro (Baltimore Sun) and All-County honors. As a junior, he was the Associated Press All-State middle linebacker and Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick by Super Prep. He added All-Region accolades by Prep Star and ranked the sixth-best inside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming.
In 2003, Henderson completed 84-of-155 passes for 1,580 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions, leading his team to its first state championship. He also ran for 883 yards with eight touchdowns while posting a team-high 138 tackles and two interceptions. His best game may have been in the state 2A semifinals when he threw for three scores on a sprained ankle, bringing his team back from an 18-point deficit.
Henderson gained 1,005 yards with 15 touchdowns passing, ran for 350 yards and six scores and averaged over 13 tackles per game as a junior. He also lettered in basketball as a small forward and performed as a sprinter on the track team.
Henderson was recruited by Virginia, Purdue and North Carolina, but decided to enroll at Maryland in 2004. He spent the first part of the season on the scout team as a quarterback before shifting to outside linebacker at midseason. He was primed to take over weak-side outside linebacker duties in 2005, but suffered a torn knee ligament two weeks into August camp and was forced to sit out the entire season.
In 2006, he started 12 games at weak-side linebacker, earning second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He led the team and ranked second in the league with 114 tackles (54 solos), including a sack and 6.5 stops for losses. He also caused three fumbles and intercepted a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown.
Despite battling knee problems all year (missed the Georgia Tech game), Henderson led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation with 133 tackles (59 solos), adding a sack and eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage. The All-American and All-ACC first-team pick also recovered four fumbles, picked off a pass and deflected two others while also gaining 12 yards on a fake punt.
After the Emerald Bowl, Henderson announced that he was leaving Maryland and applying for the 2008 NFL Draft. "After discussing the matter with my family in recent days, we felt like the time was right to take the next step," Henderson said in a statement. "The fact that he graduates leans toward him coming out," head coach Ralph Friedgen said of his linebacker, who already has graduated. "I really can't complain when a guy's got a degree. I just want to make sure he gets the most bang for his buck."
Positives: Has a solid upper body build with decent muscle definition in his lower frame... Has a firm midsection, loose and fluid hips and less than 11 percent body fat...Has good arm definition and thick calves...Shows good quickness and does a nice job of protecting his feet from low blocks when working down the line...Has the balance and agility to redirect with no wasted motion...Has quick acceleration to close on plays in front of him and good ability to move laterally and give chase at the opposite end of the field...Has excellent work habits and pushes himself hard in the training room (coaches had to constantly order and sometimes even threaten him last year to stay off the practice field, as he was frustrated he could not take part in the weekly activities with the staff trying to save him for game action instead)...Has grown into his leadership role and shows the ability to easily grasp a complicated game plan...Usually in position to make the play, as he generally makes quick reads...Plays patiently and in control (never penalized) and has no problems identifying what the offense throws in front of him (struggles a bit when dropping back in zone coverage)...Lacks ideal bulk and is not stout at the point of attack, but has the slippery moves to avoid (just needs to be more aggressive taking on blocks, as he tries too much to avoid and this sometimes makes him late getting back to the ball)...Will wrong-shoulder at times, but shows good courage stepping up to fill the gaps...Plays with good leverage and knee bend and also at a proper pad level, doing a nice job of keeping containment on the tight ends (just needs to use the right shoulder trying to bounce off blocks)...Not as active with his hands as you would want from a linebacker trying to reroute or press a receiver, but when he does latch on or shoot his hands, he does so with good force to jolt...Stays low in his pads and keeps blockers off his feet in attempts to neutralize the weak-side running attack...Has the burst to head off ballcarriers on the corners and runs down his opponent with good urgency...Can redirect and pursue inside on plays away from him...With his acceleration, he consistently makes plays in space, going well with the flow of the ball, as he sifts through trash and executes a sudden burst to close...Solid overall tackler with the strength to take down the ballcarrier or drive the opponent back...Brings a good little thump when attacking inside the rush lanes and is a solid face-up tackler who will wrap securely as well as chase down...Has the speed to run with backs coming out of the backfield and the hip rotation to mirror...Shows decent anticipation and timing on the blitz, but is better when containing than pressing at the X's...Can be sudden coming off the edge and closes fast on the pocket when given a free lane...Even when he gets absorbed working inside, he gives good effort and refuses to quit.
Negatives: Has battled left knee problems since 2005 and further medical evaluation might be required...Has good upper body development, but could use at least another 10 pounds of bulk, but his frame might be at maximum growth potential without having the added weight impact his playing speed...Even though he has four interceptions during his career, he is not a natural pass catcher as he will body and double-catch the ball (also must show better concentration to look the ball in)...Good run stuffer, but tends to run around or use his wrong shoulder trying to play off blocks, resulting in him losing some leverage...Needs to generate better hand usage in attempts to reroute tight ends and backs or disengage from blocks...Sifts through trash and has a good burst to close, but spends so much time trying to avoid blocks that he is sometimes late getting involved in the action...Despite experience as a quarterback, he has just an adequate feel in the passing game as he gets just adequate depth on his pass drops and needs to play with his head more on a swivel...Best playing inside the box, where he has a much better feel for the flow of the ball, as he is still learning proper zone concepts (sometimes late with his anticipation and tracking the ball in flight).
Compares To: ANGELO CROWELL-Buffalo...Crowell went through the same knee problems during his college career, but has found a home in the NFL. Henderson is more athletic than his brother, E.J. (Minnesota), but both have had more than their fair share of injuries. He is still a work in progress as far as showing pass coverage instincts, but evident by his 247 tackles he is a solid downhill player who shows good urgency closing on plays in front of him. Unless some team has total confidence that his knee is sound, he could slip a bit on draft day. But, if healthy, he has a lot of promise and is still molding his game, making him an inviting project for a patient coach. Ideally, he would be a nice fit in Mike Zimmer's newly installed 3-4 defensive alignment in Cincinnati.
In two seasons with the varsity, Henderson started 24 of the 25 games he played in. He recorded 247 tackles (113 solos) with two sacks for minus-12 yards and 17.5 stops for losses of 42 yards. He caused four fumbles and recovered four others, returning two for a total of 39 yards. He also gained 57 yards with a touchdown on three interceptions, ran for a 12-yard gain and batted away four passes.
All-American first-team selection by College Football Network and ESPN, adding third-team accolades from The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com and honorable mention from Pro Football Weekly, College Football News and Sports Illustrated...Added Playboy All-American recognition (brother, E.J., was a member of Playboy's 2002 team)...First-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick...Butkus Award semi-finalist (nation's top linebacker) who led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation in tackles per game (11.08)...Named to the preseason watch list for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award, which each honor going to the top defensive player in the country...Paced the Terps with a career-high 133 tackles (59 solos), including a 7-yard sack and eleven stops for losses of 29 yards...Caused a fumble and recovered four others, returning two for 39 yards...Had an 8-yard interception return and two pass deflections...Also carried once for a 12-yard gain... Started twelve games at weak-side linebacker, sitting out the Georgia Tech game with a left knee sprain and torn meniscus.
All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team selection...Started twelve games at weak-side linebacker, coming off the bench vs. Florida International...Led the team and ranked second in the ACC with an average of 8.77 tackles per game...Recorded 114 tackles (54 solos) with a 5-yard sack and 6.5 stops for losses of 13 yards...Caused three fumbles and deflected two passes...Had two interceptions for 49 yards in returns and a touchdown.
Had a banner spring camp and was scheduled to take over weak-side outside linebacker duties, but during the second week of August drills, he suffered a left knee torn anterior cruciate ligament and was forced to sit out the season.
Redshirted as a freshman...Spent the first part of the year on offense for the scout team, but was moved to outside linebacker midway through the campaign.
2003: Suffered a high ankle sprain in the state semifinal game during his high school senior year.
2005: Sat out the season due to a left knee torn anterior cruciate ligament that he suffered during the second week of August camp.
2007: Did not practice most of the season due to a left knee meniscus tear and an anterior cruciate ligament sprain that eventually forced him to sit out vs. Georgia Tech (10/06)... Suffered a shoulder contusion vs. West Virginia (9/13).
Campus: 4.67 in the 40-yard dash...365-pound bench press...Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times.
Combine: 23 reps on 225-pound bench press...4.73 40-yard dash...31-inch vertical jump...9'5" broad jump...4.50 20-yard shuttle...7.16 3-cone drill...Chose not to run 60-yard shuttle.
Attended Aberdeen (Md.) High School, playing football for head coach Joseph Harbert... Four-year starter who played quarterback and linebacker, excelling on both sides of the ball...Named Baltimore Sun Player of the Year as a senior, and he was also a first-team All-State (Associated Press), All-Metro (Baltimore Sun) and All-County honors...As a junior, he was the Associated Press All-state middle linebacker and Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick by Super Prep...Added All-Region accolades by Prep Star and ranked the sixth-best inside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming...In 2003, Henderson completed 84-of-155 passes for 1,580 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions, leading his team to its first state championship...Also ran for 883 yards with eight touchdowns while posting a team-high 138 tackles and two interceptions...His best game may have been in the state 2A semifinals when he threw for three scores on a sprained ankle, bringing his team back from an 18-point deficit to advance to the state title game...Gained 1,005 yards with 15 touchdowns passing, ran for 350 yards and six scores and averaged over 13 tackles per game as a junior...Also lettered in basketball as a small forward and performed as a sprinter on the track team.
Communications major...Older brother, E.J., was a two-time consensus All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year (2001-02) who won the Butkus and Bednarik Awards while at Maryland. E.J. currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings...Son of Quinette and Eric Henderson...Born 7/01/86...Resides in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Draft Scout Player News
12/17/12 - LB Erin Henderson had his third sack of the season on Sunday. He blitzed more than he normally does because the Vikings went with an uncharacteristic pressure-oriented game plan. Henderson had only 1 1/2 career sacks before this season.
11/26/12 - OLB Erin Henderson has returned to the middle linebacker role in the nickel defense. He had a game-high nine tackles, including a game-high eight solo, against the Bears. He also had a pass defensed.
11/23/12 - OLB Erin Henderson had seven tackles against the Lions two weeks ago. He's back in the nickel defense as the middle linebacker. That's increased his reps and tackle production. His seven tackles tied for the most he's had since recording 13 at Indianapolis in Week 2. He suffered a concussion in that game, missed the next two games and lost his job in the nickel for the next five games.
10/22/12 - LB Erin Henderson played only 48 percent of the defensive snaps (34). He used to be the middle linebacker in the nickel. But he lost that role to Jasper Brinkley when he suffered a concussion and missed two games earlier this season. Henderson isn't happy about the reduced playing time, but hasn't created a stink about it in the locker room.
10/10/12 - LB Erin Henderson isn't happy about losing his role as the middle linebacker in the nickel defense. He's still the starter at weakside linebacker in the base defense, but he lost the nickel job during his two-game absence because of a concussion suffered in Week 2. Jasper Brinkley, the starter in the middle in the base defense, played well enough in the nickel to keep the job, at least for the near future. "I just play football," Henderson snapped when reporters asked him about playing fewer than 20 snaps in Sunday's win over the Titans. "I just do what they tell me to do when they tell me to do it."
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