The Washington Commanders selected K.J. Henry with the 137th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Even though he slipped to the fifth round, there is a ton of value in this selection. Washington didn’t pick up Chase Young’s fifth-year option and could be grooming his replacement if he doesn’t have a good year.
A multiyear starter with a national championship under his belt, Clemson pass rusher K.J. Henry will now take his talents to the NFL.
A former five-star recruit, Henry served in a reserve role during Clemson’s most recent national championship (two appearances early in the 2018 campaign). He moved into a more regularly featured role the following season, notching his first career sack in the 2019 season opener against Georgia Tech. By 2020, Henry had become a starter, ultimately notching 24 starts by the end of this past season.
K.J. Henry: Scouting Report
Though Henry’s on-field production trails a significant portion of the pass rushers in the 2023 rookie class, his athletic profile suggests a higher ceiling. Relative Athletic Score places him at an 8.36 composite out of a possible 10 thanks in large part to his speed (4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 1.57 second 10-yard split). Henry also has decent size with a 6-foot-4 frame and 33-inch arms.
Mock Draft Landing Spots
According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, Henry appears well out of the first-round territory on the consensus mock draft and big board. At present, the Clemson defender ranks 132nd among the prospects after peaking at 100th. Because of those rankings, Henry hasn’t consistently appeared earlier in mock drafts than the late third round.
Matt Miller’s recent ESPN mock draft and Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft have him going in the fifth round. Miller sends him to the Colts with the 138th overall pick and Wilson sends him to the Giants with the 172nd overall pick.