by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Michigan, Tackle, Ladarius Henderson
Name- Ladarius Henderson
HT/WT- 6’5” 328 lbs.
Home – Waxahachie, TX
Ladarius Henderson did not play high school football until his junior year at Waxahachie High School in Texas. In just 2 seasons of playing football he became a consensus 3-star tackle and the No. 70 overall player in the state of Texas—pretty impressive considering the amount of prospects who come out of the lone star state. He committed to Arizona State during his senior year at Waxahachie to play football for the Sun Devils.
As a 17-year-old, freshman Henderson started 10 games at left tackle for Arizona State after taking over in week 3. In 2020, he appeared in all 4 games, splitting time at guard and tackle and playing some special teams.
In 2021, Henderson started all 13 games at left guard, playing 801 of 813 offensive snaps. In the passing game he only allowed 1 sack and 10 quarterback pressures, both were top 5 in the PAC-12 amongst offensive linemen.
Last season, he started 6 games at left guard before an injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. He received an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.
He turned down the invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game in order to enter the transfer portal and play a 5th year. He said his reason for selecting Michigan was so that he could play on the best offensive line in the country, and he felt that was in Ann Arbor. So far this season, he has played in all 12 games, starting 8 at left tackle for the Wolverines.
Henderson has a strong core and can withstand a powerful pass rush or anchor against a larger defender. He has sufficient footwork and mechanics and has the football IQ to pick up blitzes and stunts. His versatility at both guard and tackle will go a long way to help his draft stock.
At guard, he has enough athleticism to pull, and he is strong enough to anchor down against bull rushers. He has even played a little bit of center in high school and understands how the offensive line works and knows the jobs of each position. Henderson has enough agility and athleticism to extend to the second level and be a factor in the running game.
On the downside, however, he does not combine his footwork with his upper body strength. He gets in the habit of making contact and only uses his upper body to push defenders and would have better results using his legs and footwork at contact. While playing tackle, he does not let the player come to him. He reaches and becomes unbalanced and has had problems against faster outside pass rushers while playing tackle. He does not project as a left tackle at the NFL level and most likely will be used at guard or at right tackle. Some scouts will probably wish he had more of a killer instinct in the run game and finish plays throughout the whistle. He can, at times, hit and stop instead of carrying out the block to completion.
Though Draft 412 thinks that Ladarius Henderson will not get drafted in the 2nd round next season, a quality NFL comparison is former 2nd rounder Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse. Both have had the same sort of collegiate career, playing back and forth and guard and tackle. Bergeron has settled in nicely at guard for the Atlanta Falcons and Draft 412 sees a similar fate in Henderson.
Chances are a team is going to select Henderson based on his versatility and give him a chance at right tackle to see if there is a fit. Henderson has some upside considering he is still on the raw side when it comes to playing on the line at one constant position.
Upper body strength
Upper body + footwork combined
Ladarius Henderson has the ability to be a starting offensive lineman at either guard or tackle. The worst case scenario for Henderson is he is a valuable piece on a team's bench that can fill in at either position in case of an injury. A good late round value pick for sure.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 5 or Round 6