Denver Broncos: How CJ Henderson can end up in Mile High
There are reports around the NFL that teams believe Defensive Back CJ Henderson could be up for grabs. Could the Denver Broncos show interest in bringing him to the Mile High City?
Just one year ago, defensive back CJ Henderson heard his name get called in the first round of the NFL draft with the 9th overall pick (Jacksonville Jaguars). Fast forward to 2021, and he’s hearing his name float around the league as potentially being available via trade.
It’s not like he had a bad rookie year, either. Henderson did only play eight games due to having a groin injury, but he showed promise in the games he appeared in. In those games, he had 27 solo tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble.
So, the question remains — Why is Henderson available, and should the Denver Broncos beef up their already loaded secondary with a promising young player?
Why the Denver Broncos? Why Not?
This past week it became more clear why general manager George Paton went with defensive back Patrick Surtain over drafting a quarterback like Justin Fields.
Therefore, a 22-year-old, 9th overall draft pick becoming available is like scratching off a $1 lottery ticket and winning big. The Denver Broncos secondary was set to be special last season, but a few injuries and the offensive failures to keep the defense off the field caused exhaustion and exploitation in the secondary.
Denver went out of their way to fix that problem this off-season by drafting Alabama’s Surtain, signing cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, and re-signing safety Justin Simmons to a massive four-year $61 million contract.
The stacked position that has Fuller, Darby, Surtain, and Bryce Callahan seems promising on paper, but if you can get a screen protector for your new device for the right price why not add the extra protection?
Why Would The Jags Trade Henderson?
Henderson has promise and potential, yet in the eight games he played he did show some weaknesses, which could pinpoint why Jacksonville is ready to cut ties. Henderson got targeted 51 times with 33 of these passes being completed.
He gave up four touchdowns, 443 yards with 164 yards coming by after the catch was made. Henderson did show a good ability to tackle with only five missed tackles at a 12.2% rate for his overall tackles.
So, is it that Henderson missed half the season due to an injury or the fact that Jacksonville just cleaned house with a new rebuild after firing GM David Caldwell?
Either way, there’s no true idea yet why Jacksonville could be shopping Henderson, however, if he’s available the Denver Broncos may be able to offer a clean trade without doing much damage to the current roster.
The injury concerns plus an unknown reason of absence earlier into the training camp give the Broncos a shot at a good deal. A second-round pick and 23-year-old defensive back Michael Ojemudia could be the ideal piece to complete the trade puzzle.
Ojemudia saw valuable playing time after the Broncos secondary started to get hit with injuries resulting in 11 starts in the 16 games played. Ojemudia is no slouch as he finished with 55 solo tackles, 6 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles.
The biggest problem with Ojemudia’s game came in defending the pass, where he was targeted 88 times and allowed 54 passes to be completed for 815 yards and three touchdowns. Much like Henderson, one can pinpoint the youth on Ojemudia’s performance, which is why this trade makes so much sense.
Henderson’s ceiling is higher, however, with Ojemudia being just one year older with more on-field experience, and throwing in a second-round draft pick feels like a fair move for a team looking to start over.
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