05-09-2006, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Re: Bengals free agent thread
Bengals sign Eric Henderson: (bengals.com)
The agent for Georgia Tech defensive end Eric Henderson has confirmed several published reports that his client is on his way to Cincinnati after sifting through calls from an estimated 20 teams following the draft.
Kevin Conner said Monday that a major selling point for his client is that he’s the only college free agent defensive end the Bengals signed on a team that isn’t overloaded at the position.
Conner admits he’s “still scratching his head” over why Henderson didn’t get drafted last month. Some possibilities include his “tweener” size (6-2, 265 pounds), his injury history (seven missed games the last two seasons), and the fact he couldn’t run at the NFL scouting combine because of a foot injury he suffered during workouts.
Yet here’s a four-year starter who finished as Tech’s all-time leading tackler for loss with 59.5 and fourth in career sacks with 25.
“The thing teams like about him is that he’s been a productive guy in the ACC and has constantly gone up against the top tackles,” Conner said.
Ourlads Scouting Services, which had him ticketed for the third or fourth round, ranked Henderson ahead of the Bengals’ third-round pick, USC defensive end Frostee Rucker, observing he’s a “run through type hitter that’s an impact player. Instinctive and competitive player that takes good pursuit angles and finishes the play. Can leverage block and get push. If he stays healthy, he can be a force.”
It depends who you talk to. His profile on NFL.com says Henderson “is a risky draft pick because undersized defensive ends usually fail without explosiveness.”
The Bengals apparently saw something. Head coach Marvin Lewis emphasizes college production and they have to like the fact he got his degree in business management back in December.
“The guy knows how to rush the passer,” Conner said. “When he puts his hand on the ground, it’s magic.”
Since Henderson is a CFA, he’s grinding for either the last end spot or a spot on the practice squad.
Going by past history, the Bengals are going to keep four ends and they now have Rucker, Henderson, Jonathan Fanene, Justin Smith, and Robert Geathers. Plus, tackle Bryan Robinson can play some end.
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