CJ Henderson – CB (Florida)
The Vikings’ cornerbacks were once a strength of their roster. But after the first wave of 2020 free agency, it could become one of the weakest and thinnest positions on the entire team.
As stated earlier, Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander, and Trae Waynes could all be gone. That leaves Holton Hill and Mike Hughes as their starters and Kris Boyd as the nickel corner if things don’t change. Vikings fans will hope that after the draft, things will do just that.
Minnesota is going to be watching the cornerbacks closely on draft day. They don’t pick until No. 25 and there are loads of teams picking ahead of them who all need corners.
It’s unclear how the final order is going to shake out by the time we get to April, but right now Jeffrey Okudah is the clear No. 1 with the next three being some sort of mix of Kristian Fulton, Trevon Diggs, and CJ Henderson.
Okudah will likely be off the board after the first five selections. So the question is where does the run on cornerbacks begin?
The area to watch is the late teens and early 20s. Teams like the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, and New England Patriots could all look to upgrade at corner with their first-round picks. This area is where the Vikings would probably have to move up to land Henderson.
An ideal trade partner could be the Miami Dolphins at pick No. 18. They have three first-round choices and a ton of holes to fill. The Dolphins could be willing to move down a few spots and acquire some extra picks in the process.
Minnesota could jump up to the 18th pick, where Henderson would likely still be available. Moving just seven spots at this point in the draft shouldn’t cost the Vikings too much. Probably just a couple of mid-round picks with a third-rounder potentially being the highest compensation they part with.
The question that remains is if Henderson worth it? He definitely has the size Mike Zimmer likes at 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds. He’s got gangly arms that are reminiscent of Rhodes, fluid hips, and a quick backpedal.
Henderson times routes well and he uses his tentacle-like arms to bat away passes before the receiver can haul it in. So yes, he’s worth giving up later picks for, as he’d be starting for the Vikings as a rookie and upgrade a position group that needs it very much.