Seantrel Henderson

Seantrel Henderson hints at possible return this week

The Buffalo Bills are coming off of a much-needed bye week and will prepare for their Week 9 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Injuries have played a big part in preventing the Bills from reaching their full potential, but a week off could help key players get back on the field.

One player who's been forced to miss time this season is right tackle Seantrel Henderson, who sat out Week 7 due to a concussion suffered in the first quarter of the team's Oct. 18 loss. On Sunday, Henderson hinted that he could return this week against the Dolphins.

The Bills' offensive line has had its issues this season, outside of Richie Incognito who's been one of the top guards in the league. The run game hasn't gotten on track, while the aerial attack has struggled greatly without Sammy Watkins and Tyrod Taylor on the field together.

Henderson's return could certainly help the reeling Bills, but Taylor's return would be much more significant. Rex Ryan is expected to provide an update on both players Monday.

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Seantrel Henderson leaves with possible concussion

ORCHARD PARK -- Buffalo Bills right tackle Seantrel Henderson went to the locker room to be evaluated for a possible concussion during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Henderson has started all 22 games of his career since being drafted in the seventh round by Buffalo in 2014.

Cyrus Kouandijo, Buffalo's second-round pick in 2014, replaced Henderson in the lineup.

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Seantrel Henderson will start at right tackle

Orchard Park, N.Y. — Seantrel Henderson never had a doubt.

Once he was demoted to the third team during minicamp, the Buffalo Bills' offensive tackle knew he had to change something if he was going to take back the starting right tackle job he held down for his entire rookie season. So he went back home to Minnesota before training camp, set up a schedule and stuck with it.

He showed up to camp in shape, passed his conditioning test and quickly overtook Cyrus Kouandjio at right tackle. On Tuesday, Rex Ryan named him the starter at the position for the regular season.

"I just proved I can do this every day," Henderson said. "This is my job now. You know, just coming out of college last year I didn't really know what to expect. Now I am one year in, I know exactly what I got to do now. Now I am just ready to go."

Ryan said all Henderson had to do was decide he wanted the job and prove it with his play. The new coaching staff never questioned Henderson's ability, they just needed to give him a kick in the pants.

The message was received, and Henderson is the final piece of the starting offensive line.

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Seantrel Henderson steps on the gas

PITTSFORD – Alone, on a football field, under the baking Midwest summer sun, Seantrel Henderson heard a voice in his head that told him exactly what needed to be done.

Got to run these gassers. Got to push yourself. That July 30 conditioning test will be here before you know it. Can’t fail. Fail, and you give the Buffalo Bills coaches one more reason to doubt that you have what it takes to be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL. Fail, and you might very well be out of a job, period.

You know they’re still furious about the mindless travel planning that resulted in a missed flight and a missed first practice of minicamp and a demotion from first to third string. You know they’re still unhappy that you were carrying too much weight and moving sluggishly during those offseason drills.

So, between late June and through most of July, Henderson would go to one of two football fields in his native Minnesota – at his high school, St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall, or at the University of Minnesota – and run back and forth across the width of the surface. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with some work on his blocking technique and weight-lifting included in this solitary regimen.

The goal was to complete each segment of a half-gasser (the width of the field) in about 20 seconds, the standard for linemen. He would do 10 of them, just as he would be required to do in the test before being cleared to participate in camp drills at St. John Fisher College.

“I ran as much as I could until I was just burnt out,” Henderson said. “If I didn’t make it one day, I would just try to make it the next day.”

He ditched the junk food and ate healthy, courtesy of his great aunt’s cooking. His diet mainly consisted of roast turkey and/or chicken, sandwiches and salad. Lots of salad.

As a result, Henderson dropped 10 pounds from his 6-foot-7 frame, going from 358 to his current 348. He passed the conditioning test. He won back his starting job at right tackle. For now, at least.

“I was just pretty much trying to stay on the right path and do everything right when nobody was watching,” Henderson said. “Once I got here, I was ready to go.”

Now, the challenge is about staying put. Henderson started all 16 games at right tackle after joining the Bills last year as a seventh-round draft pick from the University of Miami. But once he finally arrived at minicamp, he was reminded by the coaches that they have another option, Cyrus Kouandjio, whom the Bills made a second-round choice from Alabama in 2014. Kouandjio, who performed so poorly in training camp and the preseason that he never saw the field as a lineman last season, leapfrogged over Henderson into the No. 1 right tackle spot.

For Henderson, the message was received, loud and clear. That is primarily why, for the second time in as many preseason games, he’ll be the starter Thursday night when the Bills face the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

From now on, Henderson will remember to build in more travel time on his way back to work in Buffalo. By cutting it too close in June, he wound up being stuck in Chicago due to a lightning storm and didn’t hit the field until the second day of minicamp. That was unacceptable to Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and his position coaches.

“I was supposed to be on time,” Henderson said. “I wasn’t, so that was my fault. But I just kept grinding and kept grinding until I got here, and I’ve been doing the same every day. I’m just doing everything I’m supposed to do and doing the right things. … Just get on the schedule, stay on the schedule, always be on time for everything and everything should go well.”

“You can tell he’s really working hard to be a good player this year,” Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said.

That wasn’t nearly as evident during the offseason. Henderson’s body looked sloppy. He seemed to be moving as if he were standing ankle-deep in thick mud.

No wonder Kromer could often be heard barking expletives in Henderson’s direction during minicamp drills.

“Once you’re out of shape and you’re too heavy for your body, everybody that gets in that situation doesn’t have much success,” Kromer said. “Because you can’t move as well as you’re expecting. You’re expecting to be able to do things you can’t do, so, yeah, he was a little behind. And, gosh darn, did he work hard and come in in shape and ready to go.

“Seantrel is self-motivated. He can work. He knows what he needs to do. And when it came time he needed to get it done, he did. You get what you earn. When you’re doing a good job, you earn more reps. When you’re not getting the job done, you earn less reps.”

Despite the rough patches of the offseason, Henderson is happy with the coaching he receives from Kromer and assistant offensive line coach Kurt Anderson. He firmly believes he’s becoming a better player because of what he has learned in the way of techniques.

“Kromer taught us a lot of techniques that I really didn’t learn last year that have actually been helping me with my game,” Henderson said. “Just small stuff, just ways to step, ways to get your hands on the guy, even just the thought process before the ball is snapped. Kromer explains things until he knows that you understand it. He’s very repetitive.”

His rookie season was a growth experience, an often hard-knocks education of life in the NFL. He made plenty of mistakes.

He paid a hefty price by letting pass-rushers get too clean a path to the quarterback or by missing assignments in run-blocking.

But Henderson survived well enough to hang onto the starting job, even if, in many ways, it was by default because there wasn’t anyone better on the roster.

“I feel like I’m still working to where I want to be as a technician, as an offensive lineman,” he said. “But I will say, since I already went through a whole season last year, I know what to expect and I would say I am smarter when it comes to the game right now.”

Besides his one year of NFL experience, there are those daily practice encounters with perhaps the best defensive line in the NFL.

Preparation doesn’t get a whole lot better than trying to do the impossible: keep three Pro Bowlers (Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams) and Jerry Hughes away from the quarterback.

Most of the time, Henderson gets to face Mario Williams.

“He’s a freak, man,” Henderson said. “He’s fast, strong. You don’t want to get pushed back into the quarterback by Mario. I just think, ‘Get my hands on him first.’”

Although, by most indications, the starting right tackle spot is Henderson’s to lose, nothing has been officially decided. Henderson is well aware of that.

All of that hard work and sacrifice in Minnesota won’t mean a thing if he allows himself to return to the guy who wasn’t working as hard as he needed to be during the offseason.

Overweight, out-of-shape players quickly become ex-players. They become ex-starters even faster. Henderson views Kouandjio as a formidable challenger, but not an enemy.

“Me and Cyrus are cool,” he said. “We’re actually good friends. We hang out, we help each other with what we can do better as far as our craft and things like that. It’s not, ‘I’m not going to talk to you because we’re competing for the same job.’ When it comes to competing, we compete. Afterwards, we’re cool.

“I’m going to just keep competing every day until the coach says,” to one of them, ‘This is your spot,’ or, ‘This is your spot,’” Henderson said. “I think we’re still just going hard and competing with each other every day. Both of us are just on our assignments, getting the playbook down pat and just knowing what we’re doing out there.

“It’s going to be a battle until it’s time for the first regular-season game.”

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Seantrel Henderson has improved from OTAs

Bills OC Greg Roman said RT Seantrel Henderson has made "leaps and bounds improvement" since OTAs.

Henderson has moved ahead of Cyrus Kouandijo after playing with the second team all offseason. He was listed as the starter on Buffalo's training camp depth chart and will play over Kouandijo in the preseason opener. Henderson was PFF's third-worst tackle despite starting all 16 games last year.

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Seantrel Henderson No. 1 On Depth Chart

This day, the Bills worked on combination blocks. And, up close this day, you could see why the coaches have Seantrel Henderson back at right tackle over Cyrus Kouandjio. He’s a massive 6 foot 7, 331 pounds with a much larger, stronger lower body in the run game. Kouandjio did all the right things this offseason, training at LeCharles Bentley’s complex hellbent on starting.

But after the proverbial kick in the rear from Ryan to start camp — lining up Kouandjio with the No. 1 offense — Henderson is back at right tackle where he started all 16 games last season with Doug Marrone’s staff. In 1 on 1 work with D-linemen, Henderson has mauled his defender at times.

“Seantrel, I think is really doing well,” Ryan said. “But again (Kouandjio) will work in there some, but I think Seantrel is a little ahead right now.”

The first Bills depth chart was released Monday with Henderson, not Kouandjio, as the starter at right tackle.

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Seantrel Henderson Starting

Seantrel Henderson started at right tackle in front of Cyrus Kouandjio as that battle continues.

“Cyrus had a little setback with missing a day and things,” Ryan said, referring to a minor knee injury earlier in the week. “But Seantrel has really been going like this and again this is competition there. But Seantrel is really doing a nice job.”

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Seantrel Henderson Fighting For Starting Job... Again

Seantrel Henderson came to Buffalo as a 7th round longshot and, yet, won a starting job he kept all 16 games last year. 

His reward is another uphill battle to keep that 1st team spot against fellow sophomore Cyrus Kouandijo.

"I like that because it makes me be on top of my job even more, knowing that I have to come in and do everything right every day," Henderson said. "It makes me not be complacent."

After a litany of failed drug tests before the draft, GM Doug Whaley told Henderson last May this was his last shot. Despite the demotion into a competition to start, Henderson still believes the Bills are behind him. 

"I think the organization really wants me to be successful," he said. "They just want me to do everything the right way. As far as all the coaches and the whole staff, I've been getting a good vibe from everybody."

Henderson got into the Rex Ryan doghouse when he showed up late for mandatory minicamp in June. He was flying through Chicago and got stuck when storms hit. It's something that could happen to anybody. However, in the NFL, it's unacceptable.

Henderson says he's learned, but his actions are speaking louder.

"He clearly showed everybody by coming in shape that he's ready to compete," head coach Rex Ryan said. "I think that and the accountability... I think that was a great sign that he gets it. He gets what we want."

"It's kinda been a roller coaster for me, but that's life," Henderson said. "I just keep my head up everyday and pray about everything. I just keep moving forward and try to do everything in the right way and believe the outcome will be great for me.

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Seantrel Henderson working back into Bills' right tackle race

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- When the Buffalo Bills have separated into two 11-on-11 drills during the first two practices of training camp, two offensive linemen have joined the starting five at one end of the field: guard Cyril Richardson and tackle Seantrel Henderson.

Both players have rotated in with the first team -- Richardson at guard and Henderson at right tackle -- since Friday, with Richardson getting extended time at right guard Saturday following an ankle injury to starter John Miller.

For Henderson, it's a sign that he's made progress since the spring. A 16-game starter from last season, he could barely crack the second team during OTAs -- a problem exacerbated when he missed the first mandatory minicamp practice because of travel issues.

Coach Rex Ryan was coy when asked Saturday if the demotion was intended as a wake-up call for Henderson -- "Oh no, we would never do that," Ryan said with a smile -- but there are signs that Henderson has stopped hitting the figurative snooze button.

"I’ve been really impressed with him," Ryan said. "I talked to him today a little bit about, you know, he spent time in Minnesota and then also went down to Miami and trained -- talk about one extreme to another -- but I’ve been really impressed.

"He came in great shape, and he’s ready to compete, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, so that’s where that competition is going to be. It’s going to be great to watch and we’ll see how it shakes out in the end."

The Bills won't practice in full pads until Sunday, so gauging how Henderson stacks up to Cyrus Kouandjio -- who took over first-team right tackle duties this spring -- is tough. The Bills also had veteran tackle Gosder Cherilus in for a visit Wednesday and claimed tackle Terren Jones off waivers Saturday, so there could be additions to the right tackle race as camp continues.

Yet if the first two practices of training camp are any indication, Henderson is back in the mix.

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Seantrel Henderson's spring slide lands him on Bills' bubble

Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the Buffalo Bills' roster bubble and where they potentially fit in 2015:

Name: Seantrel Henderson
Position: Offensive tackle
Age: 23
2014 stats: 16 games (16 starts)
Chance of making 53-man roster: 75 percent

Why he should make it: Along with veteran guard Chris Williams, Henderson saw his stock drop the most of any Bills player this spring. He went from a 16-game starter at right tackle under coach Doug Marrone to rotating second-team reps with undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler during June's minicamp, the most recent time players were on the practice field. Still, his slide most likely won't be enough to keep him off the 53-man roster. The Bills don't have tremendous depth along their offensive line and have a long-term need at offensive tackle because Cordy Glenn is set to become a free agent next spring. Even if Henderson doesn't reclaim his starting right tackle job from Cyrus Kouandjio, he's worth keeping around at a position that very much remains in flux for the Bills, especially with last week's arrest of offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Why he shouldn't make it: The red flags through the spring were glaring for Henderson, who missed an OTA practice for non-injury reasons -- he was later spotted outside the locker room -- and also missed the first mandatory minicamp for travel issues. From all appearances, he didn't get off on the right foot with Kromer, although it's unclear if Kromer will even be coaching Henderson again this season. The one scenario that would keep Henderson off the 53-man roster is if coach Rex Ryan feels strongly about keeping 34-year-old veteran Wayne Hunter as his swing tackle. Ryan has a long history with Hunter that he doesn't have with Henderson and as a former seventh-round pick, Henderson is still very much expendable on the 53-man roster. The Bills keeping three offensive tackles -- Glenn, Kouandjio and Hunter -- is a possibility that can't be discounted at this point.

Closest competition: Hunter, Cyril Richardson, Williams

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Seantrel Henderson lines up with third team in return to minicamp

Seantrel Henderson's travel issues were cleared up and he was on the field for minicamp Wednesday.

However, the Buffalo Bills' right tackle found himself lining up with the third team in his return to practice.

"You're not here for a day, you miss a day, so you're a day behind. It's that simple," said offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who largely brushed off any questions about Henderson. "I just think that's what we did today based on where we're at."

The team did not make Henderson available to the media following the practice.

Henderson is thought to be in the mix for one of the two starting tackle spots this season along with Cordy Glenn and Cyrus Kouandjio, so being bumped down to the third team could be punishment for missing Tuesday's practice, or an indicator of the coaching staff's evaluation of his performance.

While Henderson was back at practice, the following players did not participate Wednesday: safeties Aaron Williams and Wes Miller, cornerback Cam Thomas, linebacker Tony Steward and guards Chris Williams and Alex Kupper.

Steward and Miller were seen at practice on the sideline, while coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday that Chris Williams was at the team facility. It's not known whether Aaron Williams is attending the mandatory minicamp as he has yet to be seen. Kupper, meanwhile, practiced Tuesday.

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Bills to replace Cordy Glenn with Seantrel Henderson?

According to Vic Carucci of Buffalo News, Seantrel Henderson is a potential candidates to take over at left tackle for the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

He states that the Bills have been impressed by both second year tackles, Henderson and Gyrus Kouandjio and that they might keep Glen as a top reserve.

In the estimation of the Bills’ previous head coach, Doug Marrone, Henderson consistently performed the best of all of the team’s offensive linemen last season.

Much of the idea is said to come from the Bills previous coach Doug Marrone who is rooted in offensive line play, he is now the offensive line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

If Henderson end up starting at left tackle then Glenn would either move over to the right side, or be a back up if Kouandjio win that job.

All players have their work cut out for them during the offseason. The Bills hired a new coach and offensive coordinator which means there are new schemes to learn and a new playbook to study. It’s a likely that whoever is able to adjust quicker and show improvement might end up getting the starting job.

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Seantrel Henderson joins mix at left tackle

The Buffalo Bills are looking for two good offensive tackles. If they can be great, that’s even better. For now, though, good will suffice, given how bad the line played as a whole for most of last year.

Can the Bills find good (or great) talent from the tackles on their roster?

The coaches are a long way from that answer. What they do know, or at least are discussing internally, is that the starters will likely come from the following: last year’s incumbents, Seantrel Henderson and Cordy Glenn, and second-year man Cyrus Kouandjio, who didn’t play after the Bills made him a second-round draft pick.

In the estimation of the Bills’ previous head coach, Doug Marrone, Henderson consistently performed the best of all of the team’s offensive linemen last season. Marrone, whose football pedigree is rooted in offensive line play and coaching, is now the offensive line coach and assistant to the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

How much is his opinion worth after his dubious decision to give up a head-coaching job to ultimately take a lesser position? Very little, one might be quick to conclude. Marrone was roundly criticized for not doing what was necessary to help make the line better. Still, it’s worth noting that Rex Ryan and the rest of the Bills’ new coaching staff are strongly considering an idea that Marrone had: moving Henderson from right tackle, where he started all 16 games after the Bills made him a seventh-round draft pick from the University of Miami, to the left side.

Henderson and Glenn have alternated at tackle throughout offseason workouts, which resume with Wednesday’s organized team activity practice, while Kouandjio has impressed coaches with his first-unit practice reps at right tackle.

Much of the focus has been on the 6-foot-7, 331-pound Henderson, because new Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman sees freakish athleticism that could allow him to make a fairly smooth transition to left tackle, the most vital position on the line.

“Oh, man, I’ve been right tackle this day, left tackle this day,” Henderson told reporters recently. “And that’s fine with me. I need more reps on both sides anyway just so I can get that comfort back.”

If Henderson does end up starting at left tackle, Glenn will probably either become the starter at right tackle or, if Kouandjio wins the job on the right side, serve as a backup for both spots.

What’s the biggest difference if Henderson does switch places?

“Just kicking with that opposite leg,” he said of the vital backward kick step a tackle must make with his outside leg to establish favorable position in pass protection. “I’m more comfortable kicking with my right leg just because I’ve been playing on the right side since my freshman year in college. So just the more reps I take on the left side, the more comfortable I get playing both sides.

“I honestly don’t care whether I play left or right, just as long as I’m on the field.”

Henderson insists he’s in no particular hurry to find out the side on which he’ll eventually line up. And he fully expects the process to intensify once training camp begins on July 31 and the Bills start practicing in pads.

“I know, once camp starts, that’s when it matters the most,” he said. “Right now, everybody’s just trying to get back in the groove of things.”

Henderson feels far more comfortable than he did during the 2014 offseason. A year has made a major difference in educating him about what to expect from the NFL and what he needs to do to make himself the best player possible.

“No more being nervous,” he said. “You know what you’re coming into and what you’ve got to do to be successful in the game as far as workouts and drills and just being around the team and what the coaches expect from you and everything like that. It’s not like leaving college and you don’t know what you’re about to get into.”

Still, Henderson does have a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator in Roman and a new offensive line coach in Aaron Kromer. There is a new scheme to learn, one that puts greater emphasis on zone blocking and gap plays where it’s important to get a strong push for the running game. There is a new playbook to study.

Mostly, there are different technical aspects to playing offensive tackle that he is learning from Kromer.

“He’s good at teaching techniques, as far as staying low and getting your hands on guys as soon as possible,” Henderson said. “And as far as how to kick and what angles to take, he’s been teaching us all of that right now. So we’re going to be well prepared.”

For Henderson, that preparation figures to lead to another season of him being a starting tackle. The only question is, on which side?

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Seantrel Henderson: Bills open RT job to competition

The Bills have opened their right tackle position to competition between Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio.

Although Henderson earned the distinction of starting 16 games as a seventh-round rookie last season, his on-field performance was abysmal. He graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 82 tackle among 84 qualifiers, and was 83rd in run blocking. Still, Kouandjio is such a deficient athlete that the Bills' best option would likely be to stick with Henderson and simply hope he improves.

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Seantrel Henderson lining up at left and right tackle

Bills new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said he was going to be experimenting big time with his offensive linemen this time of year and into the OTAs and mandatory minicamp. He’s been true to his word as even in the walk through sessions on the field, and Seantrel Henderson has been working both edges each day.

Henderson said Kromer has lined him up at both tackle spots quite frequently.

“I’ve been playing right tackle this day, left tackle this day,” Henderson said. “That’s fine with me. I need more reps on both sides anyways just so I can get comfortable again.”

Henderson was almost exclusively a right tackle in college at Miami, which is where he wound up for the Bills as a rookie last season. But not before he lined up at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn, who was not medically cleared to practice in training camp and part of the preseason last summer.

Henderson believes he can play left tackle.

“(You’re) just kicking with that opposite leg,” he said. “I’m more comfortable kicking with my right leg just because I’ve been playing right tackle since my freshman year in college. The more reps I take on the left side the more comfortable I’ll get playing both sides.”

Like just about every other offensive lineman on the roster, Henderson has taken quickly to coach Kromer. He along with several other linemen on the roster like Kromer as a teacher.

“He’s just good at teaching techniques as far as staying low and getting your hands on guys as soon as possible,” said Henderson. “As far as just how to kick and what angles to take you know he’s been teaching us all of that right now so we are going to be well-prepared.”

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Seantrel Henderson leads all players in performance-based pay

The NFL’s performance-based pay system is designed to reward lower-paid players who get a lot of playing time. In the case of Bills tackle Seantrel Henderson, the rewards were significant.

Henderson, the Bills’ seventh-round draft pick last year, started all 16 games as a rookie and was on the field for a total of 1,132 plays. That meant Henderson, whose total compensation last year was $470,880 (based on a rookie minimum salary of $420,000 and a signing bonus of $50,880), got a big performance-based pay bonus of $373,671.

In all NFL players received more than $116 million in performance-based pay, and Henderson’s payout was the biggest of them all. Henderson’s rookie season shows how a guy who falls in the draft can make a lot of extra money if he performs well in his first year.

The other top earners in performance-based pay were Packers center Corey Linsley ($339,566), Bengals center Russell Bodine ($318,612), Titans linebacker Avery Williamson ($315,120) and Rams defensive back E.J. Gaines ($308,338).

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Seantrel Henderson has nothing but good memories as he prepared for return to Miami

Miami — One may think Miami would spark bad memories for Buffalo Bills rookie offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson.

Miami is where everything almost came undone for Henderson, who chose to play for the Hurricanes after being the top recruit in the nation coming out of high school. But a few different injuries and three separate suspensions kept Henderson from living up to the billing. It's why he fell all the way to the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft, where the Bills took a chance on him.

Now Henderson is nine games into his NFL career, and he's started every one of those games. His past seems to be behind him, so there's nothing but good memories when it comes to returning to Miami for a Week 11 game against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.

"It feels good to go back and play in the stadium I played in for four years," Henderson said. "I've got a whole lot of memories in this stadium, you know what I'm saying? And the weather, I kind of miss that, too. It's going to be good to go down there and play in 70- or 75-degree weather, whatever it's going to be. I'll see a couple of friends and a couple family members that's down the way."

Henderson's mom, grandmother, uncle and a few of his close friends will be in attendance on Thursday night as he tries to put together a second strong performance against Dolphins star pass rusher Cameron Wake. Even on a short week, Henderson knows after his first battle with Wake that preparation is everything.

"I just go back and watch the film on our game and from all the games afterward and see if he's doing anything different, how he rushing, what type of moves he does, just to make sure I'm on my p's and q's as far as my set and how I approach him and how I can get my hands on him and things like that.

"I have to get ready for him and be up to the challenge."

Henderson has quite a bit more experience to draw on in this start than he did the last time he and Wake faced one another in Week 2. Henderson has settled in nicely for the Bills at right tackle, though he's still had his ups and downs.

"I'm a lot more comfortable now, man, doing this week in and week out, going up against the best ends that's playing ball right now," Henderson said. "It's just getting a little easier and easier because of the fact that I've been playing game after game, getting used to just playing in games and the different situations and things like that."

By the time Henderson steps on the field Thursday night, he'll be quite a bit different than the last time he was playing at Sun Life Stadium.

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Seantrel Henderson looks nothing like a projected football bust

There was a time when no praise was too strong for Seantrel Henderson.

Then there was a time when no scorn was too strong.

These days, Henderson gets little of either. And it might be the best thing for him.

People knew Henderson's name before he was old enough to drive. He got a scholarship offer to Notre Dame when he was in ninth grade. He was named Rivals' No. 1 prospect for 2010 while it was still 2008 and still finished at No. 2. He was 6-foot-8, 337 pounds at age 17.

He was strong enough to play in the NFL before he was old enough to play varsity football and he was agile enough to play prep hoops along with it. His high school position coach once said he could "dance on a light bulb." If there was one high school player in 2010 who was most likely to get his name announced on the first day of the 2014 NFL draft, it was Seantrel Henderson.

Then everything began to slowly unspool.

Henderson played well as a true freshman at Miami, but over the next three years he was suspended three times for violating team rules. He also got into a car accident while driving with an expired license and missed time with a concussion. Eventually he was moved out of the starting lineup altogether: the can't-miss kid missed badly. He admitted to NFL teams earlier this year that his suspensions were because of marijuana use. There were also questions about his desire.

"Being ranked so highly, so early in age," Henderson said by phone last week. "The expectations and what everybody expected of me – they expected to me to be perfect. It was pretty hard."

The pressure of being the next Jonathan Ogden had crushed Henderson, and so he spiraled to a place where there would be almost no pressure. He reportedly failed a drug test at the scouting combine. He quit on his pro day workout. He was lucky to be picked in the seventh round by the Bills.
"That was a big disappointment," he said. "I knew I was better than that. It was very motivating."

The expectations were gone. The star rookie in Buffalo was Sammy Watkins. The face of the team was E.J. Manuel. There was more attention on Bon Jovi's ownership bid than on the opening day roster. In Buffalo, Henderson could fail without fans even learning his name.

And then he didn't fail.

Henderson won a starting job at right tackle and he has kept it. He has not missed a snap all season – one of only four offensive players on the team who can say that. This is where Henderson should have been headed all along – a starting spot in the NFL – but the fact that he's such a low-round pick makes him one of the biggest steals of the draft.

He's managed his new role better than he did the hype of his younger years.

"I'm still far away from where I want to be," he said. "One week at a time. Getting better each week. Get more comfortable each time."

Henderson hasn't been superlative. He has allowed four sacks. He hasn't done much better at protecting Manuel or replacement Kyle Orton than the other linemen. But there have been flashes of greatness. There has been promise. In the Bills' signature win, on the road against the Detroit Lions, Henderson held his own against Ziggy Ansah and the rest of Detroit's ferocious front. He is believing in himself more.

"It was more me having the confidence in myself that I could do it," he said. "I always knew I could play. It was more mentally going out there and playing.
"I've gone against some of the best players in the league now. I've seen what they've done against other opponents. I just prepared and made sure I'm ready. I tell myself I'm ready."

Just as important, the Bills have had faith. Even before the season started, head coach Doug Marrone – himself a former offensive lineman – suggested Henderson could be a long-term answer at right tackle.

"He's been everything that people obviously didn't say about him when he was coming out," Marrone told a local radio station in August. "I think he understands that and there are periods in time when people can change and one of them is when you go from college into this league. We have to do everything we can to not only keep him progressing on the field, but off the field."

One of the blessings of a small-market team is the shelter it provides for someone like Henderson. "He has a new family here," said offensive line coach Pat Morris. "We can provide the support. Basically it boils down to him."

Henderson said he has been clean, and he's sensed the difference in his life. "It was better right away," he said. "Way better right away. I was taking care of my business on and off the field."

The best thing that can happen is the worst thing that can happen: more pressure and expectations. If Henderson keeps his job – and Marrone said this week there's no immediate sign he won't – he'll be expected to keep getting better. He'll be more of a name, and more vulnerable to blame. Then comes the true test of how he handles the kind of praise and scorn that landed on him before.

"He has a whole career to get better," Morris said.

And that is enough of a victory for now.

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Gil Brandt: Seantrel Henderson & Allen Hurns Top 2 Rookies To Outplay their 2014 Draft Position

1. Bills OT Sentreal Henderson, Round 7 (237 overall)
Henderson slid to the seventh round because of off-the-field issues, not because of talent. The Bills took him and he outplayed second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio for the starting right tackle job. Credit Cordy Glenn for taking Henderson under his wing and helping him stay clean. Henderson didn't play well in Sunday's loss at Houston, but he played very well in the first three games. He could easily play left tackle if something ever happened to Glenn. I had him going in the first round, 15th overall, in my 2014 draft do-over.

2. Jaguars WR Allen Hurns, undrafted
Hurns is probably the player in the 2014 draft class who has surprised scouts the most. I had him listed on my priority free agent list after the draft but only 16th among the wide receivers. He has 12 catches for 254 yards and three touchdown, and is second in the NFL in average yards per catch (21.2). Done all over, he could be a third-round pick.

See the rest of the rankings here

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Seantrel Henderson stands out, as Bills O-Line starts strong

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - Rookie seventh round draft pick Seantrel Henderson has quietly had a very strong start to his NFL career.

After shutting down Pro Bowler Cameron Wake last Sunday, though, it’s time to take notice.

“Yeah, you initially see him and you think, “Wow.  He’s got all the talent in the world.”  And then you  say, “Well something’s got to be wrong with him,” and then he goes out and he’s beating us all down the field chasing plays and works hard day in and day out and he’s extremely smart in the room.  Nothing but good things to say about him,” said center Eric Wood.

Henderson settled in to the right tackle spot, once the Bills finished shuffling the offensive line late in training camp, moving last year’s starter Erik Pears to right guard.

“I played a little left tackle in preseason, now I’m at right tackle. Pears hasn’t played guard in, I believe, four years or something like that. I think for all the adjustments that we have made, I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job,” said Henderson.

The offensive line as a whole has been very strong through the first two weeks. While they have played well, Wood says there is more to their success, than just the five guys up front.

“It’s a group effort. The receivers are doing a great job of getting open, EJ’s doing a great job of getting the ball out of his hands. Tight ends and running backs when in on protection are doing a great job, that allows us to be successful,” said Wood.

The Bills host San Diego this Sunday at 1pm, looking to improve to 3-0 on the season.

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Seantrel Henderson holds his own against Cameron Wake

Orchard Park, N.Y. — When Doug Marrone said he was confident in his right tackle and rookie seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson lining up across from Cameron Wake, one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, people laughed.

How could Henderson, who just a few months ago was in danger of going undrafted, possibly contain Wake, who had two sacks against the Patriots in Week 1 and has been a double-digit sack player multiple times in his career?

With a little help, that's how.

"We had a lot planned to make sure that Cameron Wake, who we have all the respect in the world for, would not be able to take over that game," Marrone said after the Buffalo Bills' 29-10 win over the Dolphins. "We had chips and things like that to help Seantrel get off to a good start, yes. Did he play well, too? Yes, he did, but I don't want to make it look like we didn't have anything planned for him."

Henderson admitted he was nervous before the game. He was thinking about the matchup all week, studying film and taking note of how Wake could beat him.

"I didn't lose any sleep, I was just a little nervous before the game," Henderson said.

After the game, Henderson was all smiles, joking with his teammates in the locker room and almost speechless about how Wake ended up without a sack and with only one tackle in the game.

"Wake is very powerful, very fast off the ball," Henderson said. "He's a hard guy to stop. I just had to focus in, use my feet and get my hands on him."
Oh, and he had to keep him to the outside, too.

"I knew if I didn't I was going to get killed on the sideline," Henderson said with a laugh.

In the end, Henderson got the last laugh, and he couldn't have imagined a better first game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

"It was awesome. The atmosphere was crazy. It felt like the whole city of Buffalo came out to the game. From the guys come flying in from the sky, to how loud it was, it was awesome."


Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon knows Dolphins OL Seantrel Henderson well

Miami DE Olivier Vernon had 11.5 sacks last year. He won’t square off against his former college teammate Seantrel Henderson Sunday, they’ll be on opposite sides of the formation, but Vernon still believes he’s one of the most athletically gifted big men he’s ever come across.

“I still think he was good,” said Vernon of Henderson. “To this day, that’s the biggest, most athletic guy I’ve seen at his size. Even when I was at UM (University of Miami), I didn’t do anything. I feel like he’s going to be a good player for that organization. We’ll see what happens.”

Henderson said he won’t be overwhelmed playing against guys he watched on TV while he was in college at Miami.

“It’s not too weird. I know a couple of guys. Olivier Vernon I played with him, so he’s going to be out there,” said Henderson. “I know a lot of guys from the Miami Dolphins. I used to seeing them when I’m down in Miami, but as far as playing against them it’s going to be just like another game.”

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Seantrel Henderson on path to reclaim lofty status

From the time Bills rookie offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson has been a junior in high school he’s been told he’s the greatest football prospect around. It continued through his recruitment by a bounty of college programs. In college off the field issues compromised that lofty status as he fell to the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft. Through it all Henderson’s commitment to improve his game no matter what anyone was telling him, good or bad, has him on a path to a successful NFL career with unlimited potential.

Big man on campus
It’s a Minnesota high school steeped in athletic tradition. Cretin-Durham Hall in St. Paul has produced athletes like baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, retired NFL center Matt Birk and current Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd. Seantrel Henderson was seen as the next in line among the school’s premier athletic phenoms. The only difference was Henderson’s physical traits were beyond compare.

By his junior year Henderson, who was playing varsity football, basketball and track, appeared on the radar of the national high school rankings services. named him their Junior of the Year – as an offensive tackle. National high school recruiting analyst Tom Lemming didn’t compare him to one, but two NFL Pro Bowl tackles calling him “a cross between Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace.” Sports Illustrated labeled him “probably the most polished lineman of the decade.”

USA Today trumped them all naming him their Player of the Year in his senior season, after he was one of only two juniors the previous year to be named to the newspaper’s First Team. It was the first time a lineman had been bestowed the honor in the 28-year history of the award.

For Henderson all the attention was overwhelming.

“When I was a junior in high school I was ranked real high in football,” said Henderson. “I was the number one player and it shocked me. I met the guy who runs Rivals, he came up to the school. I was like, ‘Wow.’”

Henderson had only played two years of varsity football as a sophomore and junior. During that time current Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, also a student-athlete at Cretin-Derham was being heavily recruited. The recruiters saw Henderson and got to work on him quickly.

“When everyone was coming up to recruit Mike they saw me walking through the hall and started asking who I was,” Henderson said. “I had all these colleges coming at me and no one knew me because I didn’t go to any of the big football camps because I was playing basketball and doing track in the spring.”

After he helped lead his team to the 5A Minnesota state title the Associated Press named him the Minnesota State Player of the Year.
Hoop dreams?

As good as Henderson looked on the football field, he was perhaps even more amazing to watch on a basketball court. Henderson’s immense size did not negatively impact his pure athleticism and led to a spot on a pre-eminent AAU basketball team in Minnesota, the Howard Pulley Panthers. His coach Rene Pulley is certain he could’ve been a star college player on the court.

“He could’ve been a Division-1 basketball player,” he said. “At 300-plus pounds he was nimble. He was just as fast as the guards. He just had quickness and agility that was beyond belief for somebody his size. As a basketball player he would’ve been a good one.”

“Once I went to AAU I was playing with the best guys in the state and we were going state to state playing against the best guys in the nation,” Henderson said. “So I got to play forward. I could handle the rock a little bit. I could shoot a little bit. I could still jump and rebound with the best of them.”

Pulley recalls one particular tournament in Georgia when Henderson’s Minnesota team was facing another talented squad from Baltimore.

“They had a great player who was about 6-7 and he could jump out of the gym,” Pulley said. “Seantrel set a blind pick on him and he ran into Seantrel and bam he just slid down Seantrel like Wile E. Coyote used to in the cartoons. After that the kid didn’t do anything. He was too busy turning his head the rest of the game looking for Seantrel. Seantrel changed the whole game with that one pick.”

Henderson’s team also had a very talented guard/forward by the name of Harrison Barnes, who currently plays for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. He and Henderson were roommates on the road. Their senior year they were both named the top player in the country, Henderson in football and Barnes in basketball.

Knowing Henderson was rated so highly in football, Pulley knew that would be his power forward’s path. Still, it was remarkable to watch the most massive player on the court beat guards down the floor in transition.

“Watching him play basketball at a high level was just amazing,” said Pulley. “When he was 15 he was 6-8 and 317 pounds, but he was such an athlete. When the shot would go up Seantrel would be up on the glass and get the rebound, but he could get up and down the floor because he was as fast as anybody in the gym.

“They didn’t have to worry about waiting for him to come down the floor. Heck he led the break sometimes. People would stop and stare and watch him play basketball. He has got to be the rarest talent I’ve ever had.”

College choices
Henderson had committed to playing football at the next level. He credits his coaches for helping him see how special he could be as an offensive lineman.

“I knew I was better at football and my coaches always kept it real with me,” he said. “They told me 6-8 guys come a dime a dozen in basketball. But 6-8 guys with the weight you have and the way that you can move on the football field people can’t find. So I went with that.”

Pursued by every major college program in the country Henderson verbally committed to USC and later signed a letter of intent. However, after the NCAA slapped the Trojans with scholarship reductions and banned them from postseason play for two years Henderson requested to be let out of his commitment. USC granted the request and Henderson went with his second choice, the University of Miami.

Despite all the awards and accolades coming out of high school Henderson’s college coach Randy Shannon was still impressed when he saw his star recruit out on the field.

“His feet were unbelievable for a big man,” said Shannon. “His quickness for his size as well. It was all just very impressive.”

Henderson started as a freshman at right tackle appearing in 12 games with nine starts and the awards kept coming as he earned numerous All-Freshman team nods. All the praise and press that Henderson received never seemed to have an impact on the talented tackle. He never got a big head and never got complacent when it came to practice habits or game performance.

“He was smart,” said Shannon. “His freshman year he was unbelievable. He was very competitive and never had any problems out of him when he first got there. He was unbelievable for a freshman to come in with so much, but he continued to learn and grow.”

Unfortunately after Henderson’s first year, Shannon and most of his staff were let go following a 7-6 campaign. In came new head coach Al Golden and a world of changes.

“We had to learn a whole new system and a bunch of new rules that a lot of guys weren’t used to,” said Henderson. “So I just decided we’ve got to learn this and we’ve got to go by his rules. It was hard for a lot of people who were set in their ways. Everything was a lot different, but we had to buckle down and adjust and get right for the next few years.”

The plan was to have Henderson flip to the left side following Orlando Franklin’s move to the NFL, but in spring practice Henderson was struggling with back issues.

“I had a nerve problem on my left side that shot all the way down to my foot and messed with my nerves,” said Henderson. “So I couldn’t kick slide or anything. It didn’t feel right. I had no feeling over there.”

Offseason back surgery was the course of action taken and it limited Henderson to just eight games and two starts.

His junior and senior seasons were overshadowed by three separate violations of team rules, but he still earned honorable mention All-Atlantic Conference honors in each of his final two seasons. He was subsequently invited to the Senior Bowl where he was up front with all the NFL clubs about his team violations.

"I'm just being honest with every (NFL) team and letting them know exactly what the situations were, and that I'm putting all the negative things behind me moving on to the next level," he told the Florida Sun-Sentinel in Mobile. "I want to be a starter and play in the NFL."

The newest chapter
As a seventh-round pick of the Bills not much was expected of Henderson. There were two other linemen drafted by the Bills including another offensive tackle. But once Cordy Glenn’s illness first surfaced it thrust Henderson into the left tackle role before June minicamp closed.

Henderson leaned on Glenn to show him the ropes having played right tackle for the better part of the last four years.

“Cordy Glenn, he and I really clicked so he helps me with a lot of things,” said Henderson. “He’d tell me how to place my feet and how to shoot my hips and it just started getting easier. I’m more of a visual learner so watching him take his sets and make his lateral movements I tried to mirror that. He’s a good guy to look at and he’s been doing a good job since he’s been here. So that’s my guy.”

“With Seantrel I try to just have him watch what I do and take from it and add to his game,” said Glenn.

Henderson would then write down what he learned each and every day from Glenn and the other linemen to instill them in his memory.

“It improves my game,” he said. “It’s a good situation.”

Despite pushing veteran Erik Pears inside to right guard to take his former position at right tackle, Pears has coached up Henderson on the field without hesitation.

“He’s got a lot of natural ability that’s obvious anyone can see that,” said Pears. “I’m going to help him with anything I can possibly help him with whether it’s in the classroom, pre-snap, on the field and make sure we’re on the same page.”

“It makes my job easier knowing that if I forget a play, because it happens, I can just turn to Pears and ask him what I’ve got and he’ll tell me,” said Henderson. “Just knowing I’ve got Pears there who can help me at any point in time on or off the field makes me feel a lot better about doing my job.”

Henderson has been told he’s a special talent from the time he was 16-years old, but it’s never convinced him that he has maximized his skill set. Some might think his missteps in college are what put him on a straight and narrow path, but those who have known him the longest maintain that he’s always been a worker.

As rare as it may be to find a physical talent like Henderson, finding one with a blue-collar attitude like the Bills rookie might be even more uncommon. Perhaps that’s why he clicked with Glenn so quickly, the lineman who has also been seen as a rare athletic specimen himself.

“Knowing that you do have some strengths we both just try to stay humble and keep working in order to get better,” said Glenn of he and Henderson. “He’s a real good player, but we don’t just want to rely on our potential or the physical advantages we might have.”

Awards and accolades have always come easy for Henderson, but for him they’ve never seemed to carry much weight. Now he’s playing on a level where there’s talent that’s comparable to his own. Fortunately what has always accompanied his vast skill is a commitment to making the most of his talent.

Said Henderson.

“I just keep playing.”

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#NFLU Week 1 proCane Wrap Up

Every Tuesday we will wrap up the all the action from the previous week’s NFL action.

The Streak: Four proCanes scored (Allen Hurns (2 TDs), Greg Olsen (1 TD), Travis Benjamin (1 TD), Lamar Miller (1 TD)) to extend the TD Streak to 7 straight weeks a proCane has scored an NFL touchdown. As reminder the record is 149 straight weeks.

Allen Hurns, Jaguars: Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first undrafted rookie to catch two touchdowns in his first game since the New York Giants’ Bobby Johnson in 1984. Two catches, two touchdowns, Hurns became the second NFL rookie to ever do that, joining Detroit’s Charles Rogers. Hurns also ended up playing the 2nd most amount of snaps among WRs behind Antonio Brown. Hurns has out-produced both receivers the Jaguars selected in the second round of the NFL draft in May. Not bad for an undrafted rookie

Andre Johnson, Texans: Johnson moved past Redskins legend Art Monk into 16th place in NFL history in receiving yards. Johnson, who hauled in six passes for 93 yards, has 12,754 yards in his 12 professional seasons.

Frank Gore, 49ers : Gore just the 29th running back in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard mark, and just the 10th to eclipse the milestone with one franchise. With a four-yard run in the third quarter, Gore became one of just three active running backs in the 10,000-yard club. He is also just the second #proCane to do it; Edgerrin James ranks 10th all-time with 12,279 yards.

Devin Hester, Falcons: The Falcons promised to use Hester also as a WR this season, and so far they have fulfilled that promise. Hester caught 5-of-6 targets for 99 yards in the Falcons' Week 1 win over the Saints.

Seantrel Henderson, Bills: Henderson, who was drafted in seventh round of the year’s NFL Draft started his first NFL game in week 1 beating out 2nd round Bills draft pick Cyrus Kouandjo.

Greg Olsen: 8 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD
Allen Bailey: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL
Reggie Wayne: Back from injury: 9 catches, 98 yards
Vince Wilfork: Back from injury: 2 tackles

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Bills GM Doug Whaley never doubted Seantrel Henderson was better player than Cyrus Kouandjio

Orchard Park, N.Y. — The scout in Doug Whaley smiles at the mention of Seantrel Henderson's name.

Whaley, the Buffalo Bills' second-year general manager and long-time scout, leans back in his chair when talking about the rookie right tackle who will start for the Bills on Sunday against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 after being drafted in the seventh round. Second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio was supposed to lock down that spot. Instead, the Bills found a starter in the seventh round.

"There was no questions on Seantrel's ability," Whaley said. "He's a better player than Kouandjio. He would have been probably, maybe the second tackle taken if he didn't have his issues."

That's the type of pick that requires work. Not necessarily work in the sense of grinding late hours in the film room to discover a hidden talent. It was about the work of Bills area scout C.J. Leak, who covers that region of the country for the Bills. He was the one on the ground at Miami getting the information about Henderson the person. Whaley could watch the tape and see Henderson's talent, but he relied on his scout to find out about the suspensions, the failed drug tests and the effort concerns.

"We were OK with (Henderson's talent)," Whaley said. "The problem was, did we feel comfortable with all of the other stuff?"

That's where Leak came in, having made multiple visits to Miami's campus. So by the time Whaley got involved during the pre-draft process, he had all of the information he needed to feel comfortable pulling the trigger.

"(Area scouts) unearth a lot of information that is pertinent to us — things that people say risks we see potential in, because we have that information, because we've had the personal interviews with those guys," Whaley said.

"In our minds, (Henderson's) living up to his potential on and off the field," Whaley said.

Whaley and the Bills haven't necessarily changed their plans for Kouandjio. At the very least, it gives the roster a bit more depth, though.

"It's a case-by-case basis," Whaley said. "One thing we're trying to do is create a roster with some depth because injuries are always going to be a part of it. So if Seantrel does get hurt, we have Cyrus back there. So you can consistently perform at a high level when you have backups that are talented. Just as talented or an inch behind ability-wise."

Bills coach Doug Marrone, who came up coaching offensive linemen, hasn't hesitated to heap praise on Henderson, though. In a radio interview with WGR during training camp, Marrone couldn't help but get excited about the longterm potential of the seventh-rounder.

"I’ve been around that position my whole entire life. He’s a heck of a football player. A heck of a football player," Marrone said. "What’s there not to like? He’s probably one of the biggest guys, he has the most muscle mass, he probably has the quickest feet along with Cordy Glenn, and we have an opportunity right now, if he keeps coming the way he keeps coming, to have maybe the best tandem in the league."

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Bills coach praises rookie Seantrel Henderson

Bills coach Doug Marrone raved about the play of rookie Seantrel Henderson and confirmed he expects Henderson to be the Week 1 starter at right tackle.
"We have an opportunity now that if (Henderson) keeps coming along to maybe have the best tandem in the league," Marrone said. "He’s been everything that people obviously didn't say about him when he was coming out which is why we were able to get him in the seventh round." Cordy Glenn (illness) returned to full team drills last week and will play in Saturday's preseason game, so the Bills are moving Henderson to right tackle. Erik Pears is starting at right guard. Second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio was drafted to be Buffalo's right tackle of the future, but still needs time to develop.

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Seantrel Henderson Still Present

In Cordy Glenn’s absence, rookie seventh-round selection Seantrel Henderson has played surprisingly well for a first-year player, especially in two preseason games against great pass-rushers like Jason Pierre Paul and Greg Hardy. Marrone said Henderson could start at left tackle with Glenn not back for game action yet, which the second-year head coach quickly pointed out could “be a long time”, stating that “Seantrel can play left tackle in this league.”

Wood said Henderson has done “a great job”, and that his experience and talent is a “great” addition to the front five lineup.

Henderson said after practice that he’s tried to “get better” every day, and the hands-on coaching of Marrone on technique has helped him be successful. Henderson’s outstanding play in place of Glenn has begged the question of whether or not the former Miami Hurricane could start on the offensive line even when the team’s left tackle is ready to be on the field.

Henderson told the media that coaches haven’t talked to him about moving to right tackle, but he is willing to play whatever role needed.

“Whatever the coaches want me to do I’m going to do it,” said Henderson. “Whether it’s going to guard or going to the other tackle that’s fine with me, I just want to play.”

The structure of the offensive line still has yet to be determined, but it would be a surprise if Henderson doesn’t play into the discussion of the starting 5, with or without Glenn.

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Seantrel Henderson making the most of his opportunity

Pittsford, N.Y. — The question hasn't changed for Seantrel Henderson.

It followed him from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in Minnesota to the University of Miami, and now it's hovering over his head as he stands on the practice field at Bills training camp, sweat pouring down his face.

He was once considered the most talented high school player in the country, but it took the Bills taking a chance on him in the seventh-round of the 2014 NFL Draft for him to be standing on the campus of St. John Fisher College competing for a spot on an NFL roster.

"It was to the point where no team could've given me an opportunity," Henderson says. "Even though everybody said I have this unbelievable talent, if I would have never been picked up, then who was I?"

Nobody doubts Henderson's talent. He moves his feet in such a way that most 6-foot-7-inch, 330-pound men could only dream of. He was the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school and started as a true freshman at Miami.

No, the question surrounding Henderson has never been one of talent, it's one of commitment to the game on and off the field.

"I think he's someone that can play in this league," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "We knew that coming in. It's just a matter of, on a daily basis, can he do everything he can? It's more from the outside than on the inside. He has what it takes to play."

That's why Henderson has been taking all of the reps with the Bills' first-team offense at left tackle during training camp while Cordy Glenn is sidelined with an illness. Most seventh-round picks don't walk into a starting spot in their first NFL training camp, but most seventh-round picks don't have first-round talent, either.

"It's crazy, I never thought it was going to come this soon," Henderson said.

Henderson wasn't even sure if an NFL team would give him a shot. By the time the NFL Draft rolled around in May, Henderson's football career was spiraling out of control.

Coming off a troubled career at Miami in which he was suspended three times for marijuana use and dealt with multiple injuries, Henderson failed his drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine and left his pro day workout early. Some said he quit, while Henderson said he was dehydrated.

At that point, the reason didn't matter. It was just another one of a long series of events that demonstrated a pattern of poor decisions from Henderson, which he realizes now.

"Down in Miami, it's not what went wrong, it's what I was actually doing as a player and as a student," Henderson said. "I was just maturing. At the same time, I was enjoying the fact that I came from Minnesota and that I was down in Miami. I was still young. I was still me. I was a kid. I was just trying to adjust to the work, adjust to not having my parents around, adjust to football being my job but in college."

The adjustment wasn't easy, and Henderson matured slower than most. So when he was waiting to hear his name called on draft weekend, panic started to set in. Henderson was finally seeing the consequences of his actions.

"After Friday night was over, they said I was a top five pick for the next day. I didn't get drafted in the fourth round, fifth, sixth. In the seventh, every time the phone rang, whether it was a coach or a family member, my stomach sank."

Finally, Henderson got the call he was waiting for. Bills general manager Doug Whaley was on the other end to tell him he was their pick in the seventh round. Whaley recognized the talent, but the message for Henderson was simple.

"We just need you to meet us halfway, be on time, do everything you're asked to do, and you'll be successful."

Fast forward three months. Henderson is fresh off his first NFL start at left tackle, a preseason game against the Giants in the Hall of Fame Game. He admits he was nervous to go up against Jason Pierre-Paul, but he more than held his own. After mauling the veteran defensive end a few times, the pressure seemed to fade for Henderson.

"I feel one certain type of way during the game," Henderson said. "I get in my zone and I just don't get out of it."

The night wasn't perfect, though. Marrone said Henderson has a long way to go. He overheated a bit before exiting the game and had a few lapses in technique.

Left guard Chris Williams knows what Henderson is going through. Williams was a first-round pick expected to play left tackle as a rookie. He struggled and has bounced around to various teams. Now he's a guard.

"His head's spinning right now a little bit," Williams said. "I wish I was as physically gifted as he is, that's for sure."

It's still early for Henderson, but he's handling himself the right way. Maybe he's finally recognizing the talent he has. He says falling in the draft was the final wakeup call he needed.

As he stands in that late July heat, he speaks softly. He's still catching his breath from a long afternoon practice. There's genuine appreciation in his voice when he talks about Whaley and Marrone taking a chance on him. Henderson is, for the first time in a long time, happy to be on the football field, and it's all because the Bills gave him a shot.

"It means everything to me," Henderson says.

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Seantrel Henderson Has Potential to Be Huge Steal for Buffalo Bills

There was never much doubt about Seantrel Henderson's talent coming out of Miami. There were plenty of doubts, however, about his character. 
In the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills were willing to take that risk. So far, it looks like it's paying off. 

He held his own against the New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game, despite allowing the 2011 All-Pro to bat down an EJ Manuel pass at the line of scrimmage (some of the blame should fall on Manuel for staring down his receivers). Henderson also cleared the way for some long runs off the left side, allowing the Bills to show off their deep stable of running backs. 

Let's not put him in the Hall of Fame just yet, though. Bills head coach Doug Marrone certainly didn't do that when he said that Henderson has "a lot of work ahead of [him]" and added that Henderson left the game early because he was "sweating a lot." The only reason Henderson is getting the opportunity in the first place is because starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been out with a mystery illness. 

The coaches know they have to keep expectations in check for Henderson. It's their best bet of keeping him motivated to push himself and become the Pro Bowl talent he has the potential to be. 

"He's a talented guy," Bills general manager Doug Whaley said on the John Murphy Show in July (via "We feel that, again, if he didn't have those demons, he would have been probably in the first round."

For the record, Whaley isn't the only one that feels that way. CBS Sports' Rob Rang compared Henderson to Chargers offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, drafted 11th overall in the 2013 NFL draft.

"If you want to draw up a first-round offensive tackle, this is the kid," said NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock when the Bills made the selection. "Offensive line coaches want to coach him. But there's a downside. There is all kinds of negative off-the-field issues. Because of all the issues off the field, he took himself from being a first-round pick to being a seventh-round pick."

Henderson's 6'7", 331-pound frame and 34.625-inch arms all scream "NFL left tackle." After failing his drug test at the 2014 scouting combine and leaving early during Miami's pro day, NFL scouts were screaming "stay away."


Henderson showed off those first-round traits when he stymied Pierre-Paul in pass protection. The extra time in the pocket allowed Manuel to go through his progressions and get the ball to an open receiver—in this case, tight end Lee Smith, who had settled down in a soft spot in coverage.

Pierre-Paul is known for his long arms and overall long frame, yet he could not get a good rush on Henderson, who kept him at bay by extending his arms into JPP's chest.

Manuel needs to get better at going through his progressions more quickly on a more consistent basis, but with pass protection like this, he can feel comfortable that he will have enough time to do so. 


Clearly the potential is there. The question is: How much of an opportunity will Henderson have to truly showcase that potential, and to build on it? As mentioned earlier, the starting job at left tackle belongs to Cordy Glenn as soon as he returns to action.

That being said, the starting spot at right tackle also appears to be up for grabs, with Cyrus Kouandjio and Erik Pears competing for the right to that spot. 
To this point, however, Kouandjio "has not been the player the team was expecting when they selected him in the second round" of May's draft, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 Buffalo. Perhaps when Glenn returns, the Bills could move Henderson to the right tackle spot and see how he performs on the other side of the offensive line. 

The talent is there, and as long as he continues to show the right attitude, the Bills will probably give him every chance to succeed.

"We've talked to Seantrel and he knows that he's got one shot," Whaley told ESPN, via ProFootballTalk. "We're saying we'll give you this one shot. It has nothing to do with us saying this guy is a talented football player; he's been dealing with some demons. Hopefully those demons are out of his life and why not give somebody—this is America—give somebody a chance."

NFL teams are never shy about giving those second chances in a low-risk, high-reward scenario. So far, Henderson has maximized his "one shot," and if he continues on this trajectory, that's all he may need.

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Bills Coach Marrone says LT Henderson 'can be special'

Bills coach Doug Marrone told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport he believes seventh-round LT Seantrel Henderson "can be special."

A former top high school recruit, Henderson had an up-and-down career at the University of Miami and fell to the seventh round due to character issues. With Cordy Glenn's (illness, NFI) health status up in the air, Henderson is a candidate to be the Bills' Week 1 left tackle. It's conceivable Henderson could be Buffalo's blind-side answer of the future, with Glenn eventually moving to guard.

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Seantrel Henderson pushes Chris Hairston to guard

Rookie left tackle Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to the practice field for the Buffalo Bills on Monday afternoon, and with him came some anticipated offensive line shuffling that was absent from Sunday night's training camp opener while Henderson was injured.

With Henderson reinserted as the first-team left tackle (replacing starter Cordy Glenn, who remains sidelined by an undisclosed illness), fourth-year veteran Chris Hairston, who filled in as the first-team left tackle on Sunday, returned to the right guard position that he began playing during June practices. He spent most of today's practice running with the second-team offense, but per WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia, he snuck in some first-team reps ahead of Kraig Urbik by the end of practice.

Assuming, then, that the Bills can stay healthy enough at the tackle position to free Hairston up, it's looking like he'll continue to see plenty of work inside at guard in his first training camp under Doug Marrone. Maybe the starting right guard job is up for grabs, after all.

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Seantrel Henderson, once the 'next big thing,' getting another chance at Buffalo Bills training camp

Pittsford, N.Y — Seantrel Henderson was supposed to be next.

An NHL star, Heisman Trophy winner, MLB all-star and first-round NFL draft pick all put on the purple and gold at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn. There was Twins catcher Joe Mauer, all-star defenseman Ryan McDonagh, Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd.

Henderson was as promising as any athlete to come through the private, Catholic school located on the west end of Minnesota's smaller Twin City.

Henderson stood 6-feet-8-inches tall as a senior in high school and weighed just more than 300 pounds. His athleticism made him a mismatch for every player in the state, and he was so dominant that he was the first offensive lineman to ever receive USA Today's Offensive Player of the Year Award.

Henderson was the best high school recruit in the entire nation. He was being compared to Hall of Fame offensive tackles and had schools around the country fighting for his services. The question was whether Henderson would be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, it was a matter of when it would happen.

And yet five years later, his most notable accomplishment is still that 2009 Offensive Player of the Year award from high school.

The Buffalo Bills' seventh-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft was the next big thing, but from the time Henderson put his name on a letter of intent to play at the University of Southern California, nothing went his way, and he did himself no favors along the way.

The struggle to find stability
Henderson never played a down for the Trojans. Less than four months after signing his letter of intent, USC was hit with sanctions from the NCAA, banning the school from postseason play for two seasons. Henderson was free to sign with another school and quickly chose Miami, where he started nine games at right tackle as a freshman. So far, so good.

Toward the tail end of Henderson's freshman season Miami coach Randy Shannon, who recruited Henderson, was fired. Rumors began to swirl about a possible transfer for the former five-star offensive tackle, and he spent the spring limited by back problems. While he stayed at Miami under new coach Al Golden, Henderson needed back surgery in August before his sophomore year. He appeared in eight games in 2011 and started only two.

But maybe even worse for Henderson and the Hurricanes was that Miami was at the center of a college football controversy after a story from Yahoo! sports detailed possible violations by the school's athletic department. Miami imposed a one-year postseason ban on itself, just the type of ban Henderson left USC to avoid.

Maybe the injuries and sanctions made it easy for Henderson to become disenchanted with college football. The bad luck continued to follow Henderson into the summer leading up to his junior season.

Henderson's childhood friend was shot and killed in July of 2012, and a week later his aunt died of cancer. While driving to his friend's funeral, Henderson was in a car accident and suffered a concussion that forced him to miss 12 practices.

With everything stacked against him, Henderson started to turn on himself. Henderson finally worked his way back into the starting lineup as a junior, but he was suspended prior to the start of the 2013 season for the third time in his career. Henderson later told the Sun-Sentinel in Florida that all three suspensions were for marijuana use.

So Henderson's career at Miami ended quietly. The biggest accomplishments the five-star recruit would leave college with were two honorable mentions on the All-ACC team. He spent three games as a backup during his senior season with the Hurricanes, and suddenly a player once thought to be a sure first-round draft pick wasn't even a lock to get drafted.

Squandering his chances
Billy Turner sat at a table at Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and represented the opportunity Henderson had let slip away so many times.

Turner, who played against Henderson in high school, was passed over by most major college football programs. He wasn't as big as Henderson or as talented. Minnesota tried to recruit Turner, but only after missing out on Henderson.

"He went to Miami and they called me and I said, 'You guys missed the boat,'" Turner said.

So instead, Turner went to North Dakota State. While Henderson couldn't fend off distractions or stay on the field, Turner made the most of his opportunity, starting as a true freshman and winning three FCS national championships.

"I mean, he's what, 6-8, 340 pounds coming out of high school?" Turner said. "I was 6-5, probably 285. I didn't get the looks like a lot of other guys. There were a lot of guys coming out of Minnesota who were pegged higher than me."

But it was Turner who heard his name called on in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, while Henderson waited around deep into the third day. After failing his drug test at the NFL combine and reportedly leaving his pro day early, it was no guarantee that Henderson would even get drafted. Most thought he had used up all of his chances.

One last shot
In the NFL, a superior talent always gets another chance. That's why the Bills took a shot on Henderson in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. Despite all of the trouble that followed him throughout college, Henderson still showed flashes of dominant ability. His strength and movement skills remain special, and anyone who can tap into that potential will have a star.

"He's a talented guy," Whaley said on the John Murphy Show Friday night. "We feel that, again, if he didn't have those demons, he would have been probably in the first round."

With starting left tackle Cordy Glenn out with an illness, Henderson will open camp as the Bills' starting left tackle. After everything he went through, he is landing right where everyone expected him him to back when he was dominating at Cretin-Derham.

For the first time in a long time, Henderson is catching a break. Now the only question is whether he's willing to help himself and take advantage of this opportunity. Because if he doesn't, there may not be another one.

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Seantrel Henderson replaces Cordy Glenn (illness) as Bills' left tackle

Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley did not take long to confirm which player will be replacing Cordy Glenn as the first-team left tackle when training camp practices begin tomorrow evening: it'll be rookie seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson.

"He's a talented guy," Whaley said Friday night on The John Murphy Show. "We feel that, again, if he didn’t have those demons, he would have been probably in the first round. We’re excited to see him translate that to the field. With Cordy being out, he's going to be our starting left tackle right now."

Glenn, as we discussed yesterday, is currently on the Active/Non-Football Illness list. Whaley called him "day-to-day" while remaining vague about when, exactly, he might return to the lineup. Ideally, Glenn will be back in the lineup soon, but the Bills give off the vibe that they're making plans to be without him for a while.

Henderson, once a top recruit coming out of high school, fell all the way down into the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft thanks to a mediocre college career filled with off-field issues, including multiple suspensions and a failed drug test at the Combine. Still, he is a 6'7", 331-pound athlete with rare movement skills, and he has a tremendous opportunity sitting in front of him now that he'll be exposed to first-team work.

"We know his demons off the field, and we think he’s got a hold of those things," Whaley told Murphy on Friday night.

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Bills OT Seantrel Henderson saw time with first-team

Bills seventh-round OT Seantrel Henderson saw time with the first-team offense during OTAs.

With Cordy Glenn sitting out minicamp, Henderson was used at left tackle, with Cyrus Kouandjio and Erik Pears splitting reps on the right side. It's a good sign for Henderson's roster chances that the Bills are willing to give him an extended look this early. Chris Hairston is ahead of Henderson on the depth chart and would start if Glenn missed time in the regular season.

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Seantrel Henderson taking advantage of opportunity in Buffalo

In college, Buffalo Bills tackle Seantrel Henderson earned a reputation as a screw up. But now in the NFL, he's finally starting to show signs of being the player who was once the top offensive lineman recruit in the nation.

Henderson was the Bills' last pick in their 2014 draft class. They took a shot on Henderson's talent despite plenty of off-field reasons why he nearly slid out of the draft. Henderson took reps with the first-team offensive line last week in Buffalo's minicamp and has settled in well with the group.

Henderson is trying to rebound from a precipitous fall from grace. He was supposed to be as close to a sure thing as there is coming out of high school. The massive left tackle out of St. Paul, Minn. was the No. 2 player in the nation in 2010 according to

But there were no major awards for Henderson and not a single bit of buzz after he completed his four years at the University of Miami. There were three suspensions though. All of his suspensions were for marijuana use, he later admitted.

Henderson never really lived up to his billing after a solid freshmen year, and it's a burden he still carries.

“Even though that's in the past – No. 1 player in the nation and all those things like that don't mean too much – at the same time, I still came out like that and I feel I need to live up to that," Henderson said. "And at the same time, I feel I'm just working and building, building and moving on forward to camp." 

Getting a chance to work with Buffalo's starters, even in a minicamp, is a big step for Henderson considering how his draft stock was plummeting earlier this year.

He earned an NFL scouting combine invite this past spring, perhaps based off his name recognition and the immense coverage surrounding his recruitment four years earlier. The combine was supposed to be his chance to shine, instead it was clouded by a failed drug test – again for marijuana use.

Henderson was considered washed up. He was just 22 years old but his career appeared over before it started. Most NFL teams considered him an undrafted rookie free agent at best – if they even had him on their draft board at all. It wouldn't have been a surprise if he wasn't picked.
The Bills took a shot on him, however. 

The Bills took Henderson in the seventh round at No. 273 overall, with their final pick of the draft. He was told that their would be zero tolerance for him and that the mistakes of the past had to be just that – in the past. If he got in any trouble, he would be out the door. It was a low-risk, high-reward move for the Bills. If Henderson finally got his head on right, he was a first-round talent. If he flaked out, he would be another low draft pick cast aside.

So far, it is working out for the Bills – and Henderson.

Last week, Henderson stepped into the first team at left tackle with several injuries keeping regular starters out. There is talk that he impressed the coaching staff and could be in the mix for a roster spot and also for a starting job.

He admits that to stick in the league, he can't go back to the same old ways that got him suspended three times in college and fail a drug test at the combine.
“Just taking everything a day at time," Henderson said. "Just staying positive all times. Working throughout and doing everything. Keeping myself busy. That's all the past. As of right now, I'm not trying to look back at that.”

When he was selected by Buffalo, there were obvious question marks about him. The character concerns were a key issue as was his underwhelming game film.

“Can he be consistent enough and be disciplined enough and have the structure to be a pro?" Bills coach Doug Marrone wondered publicly about Henderson during a press conference in May. "That’s what being a pro is really.”

The NFL is filled with cautionary tales of stud athletes who flame out. There's more celebrity in the NFL along with more money and free time. There isn't the structure of college with classes and study halls and tutoring sessions. Once practice and the weight room and film study is over, an NFL player's time is his own.

And with a pocket full of cash, the temptations for Henderson are much bigger than in college, even if he has traded South Beach's sins for more quiet surroundings in Buffalo.

He credits the Bills for giving him a support staff to help him take things one step at a time.

“I can talk to them about anything I've got going on personally or in life period. I've got people here that I can talk to that can help me out throughout the day,” Henderson said.

He doesn't go out most nights but stays at the team hotel and spends a couple extra hours studying the playbook. At Miami, he never really took to the playbook but in the NFL, suddenly it is clicking.

And he is actually is enjoying the accountability of the locker room and – gasp – studying the playbook isn't a terrible chore.

“I think everything is coming together," Henderson said. "Just moving forward, getting to know everybody. Things are going good right now.

"As far as the workouts and learning the playbook – I never learned anything this fast. I actually got things down pat. I'm not saying I'm all the way there but I'm further ahead then I thought I would be at this point. That makes me feel real good and gives me a little more confidence in my game also."

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Seantrel Henderson gets first-team reps

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills continued to shift their offensive line Wednesday, moving rookie Seantrel Henderson from the third-team to the first-team at left tackle.

Henderson stepped in for Cordy Glenn, who did not participate in team drills Wednesday. Glenn missed Tuesday's practice with an illness, but was replaced by Chris Hairston with first-team. On Wednesday, Hairston split reps at right guard with Kraig Urbik.

Henderson, a seventh-round pick, did not practice Tuesday because of travel-related issues, but was thrown into the fray Wednesday.

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Two More NFL proCanes Sign As Free Agents

David Gilbert and Luther Robinson – signed NFL contracts Monday.

Gilbert signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans where he will play outside linebacker, which is moving to a “hybrid” 3-4 defense. Gilbert had tried out for the Titans last week, as did AJ Highsmith who was not signed.

Luther Robinson signed a rookie deal with the Green Bay Packers, where he is listed as a defensive end.

Here is the full list of NFL proCane Rookies and where they have signed.

RG Brandon Linder: drafted 3rd round, 93rd overall by Jacksonville
P Pat O’Donnell: drafted 6th round, 191st overall by Chicago
OT Seantrel Henderson: drafted 7th round, 237th overall by Buffalo
QB Stephen Morris: signed with Jacksonville
WR Allen Hurns: signed with Jacksonville
Basketball player Erik Swoope: signed with Indianapolis to play TE
TE Asante Cleveland: signed with San Francisco
OG/C Jared Wheeler: signed with Carolina
FB Maurice Hagens: signed with Atlanta
DT Justin Renfrow: signed with Arizona
LB Jimmy Gaines: signed with Buffalo
S A.J. Highsmith: had Tennessee tryout, but was not signed, will workout with San Francisco
S Kacy Rodgers II: will try out with Kansas City this weekend
LB Tyrone Cornelius: will try out with Washington this weekend
DT Curtis Porter: signed with Oakland
DE Shayon Green: signed with Miami

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Seantrel Henderson Has Been Told He Has One Shot

The Buffalo Bills decided to take a seventh-round flier on former Miami Hurricanes star offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who has blue-chip talent but more red flags than any other prospect in this year’s rookie class. You know, a class that also includes running backs Jeremy Hill and Isaiah Crowell, Aaron Lynch, and Loucheiz Purifory, who went undrafted because of character concerns. Henderson’s issues deal with work ethic, as he’s a former five-star talent who clearly didn’t consistently play up to his potential in college. He was also suspended for marijuana usage on three different occasions, and that’s not even counting a failed drug test at the combine that undermined some unsurprisingly amazing workout numbers.

It was honestly a surprise to see somebody draft Henderson, but the Bills decided that his talent was worth at least taking a flier on. I mean, he wouldn’t have been a guarantee in undrafted free agency with other competitors, and the Bills could cut him without any risks. In fact, that’s exactly what the Bills intent to do if Henderson screws up; they made it clear that he won’t get a second chance given his history.

Bills GM Doug Whaley said, via ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Rodak, “We’ve talked to Seantrel and he knows that he’s got one shot. We’re saying we’ll give you this one shot. It has nothing to do with us saying this guy is a talented football player; he’s been dealing with some demons. Hopefully those demons are out of his life and why not give somebody — this is America — give somebody a chance.”

Henderson knows this, and hopefully he’s able to get his head on straight now that the stakes are incredibly high. He can be a great tackle in this league due to his raw tools alone, but he can’t become the next Justin Blackmon or Josh Gordon and will have to work hard in order to fulfill his on-field potential. As Henderson stated, living in Buffalo should be a lot better for him than being around Miami, but location is not the blanket solution either.

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Bills begin sizing up OT Seantrel Henderson

Seantrel Henderson can only remember one time walking into a room and not being the biggest person in it.

“Bryant McKinnie. You can see the actual inch he got on me. Other than that, I’ve never seen nobody really bigger than me,” said the 6-foot-7, 331-pound Henderson, the final member of the Buffalo Bills’ 2014 draft class.

The job for coach Doug Marrone and Co. will be to take that enormous piece of clay and mold it into an NFL offensive tackle.

If you were to draft a football team based solely on physical appearance, there’s no question Henderson would be off the board early.

“I’m a humongous guy,” he said Sunday, after the Bills’ second rookie minicamp practice. “I’ve got very long arms, long legs. That most definitely gives me the upside as far as my position. It’s hard for a guy to get around me. I get my hands on the guy, I feel like I can pretty much beat him. That’s my advantage.”

Of course, there’s a reason Henderson fell to the seventh round of the draft, and it has nothing to do with his size. He was suspended multiple times while at the University of Miami for marijuana use, and flunked a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

“In college I had a lot of maturing to do,” said Henderson, who finishes most of his answers by addressing the reporter who asked him the question as “sir.’’
“I was coming from Minnesota, going down to Miami, whole different state, you know, I’m by myself.”

Coming out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Henderson was destined for stardom. He was the top-ranked offensive lineman in the country by both ESPN and Rivals. But his career at Miami was a letdown because of his off-the-field issues and injuries (back surgery and a concussion). He ended up starting 26 of 43 career games with the Hurricanes.

After his failed drug test at the combine, there was a very real possibility Henderson could have fallen out of the draft entirely. But the Bills prevented that with the 237th overall selection.

“It means the world to me, man. … I’ve never been more nervous than that day. Every time my phone rang or I got a text, my heart kind of dropped a little bit,” he said. “I was a little disappointed, but more disappointed at myself. Once the Bills did call me, it was just like a big relief, you know what I’m saying? Like everything’s going to be OK. I most definitely appreciate the whole coaching staff, the owner, the GM, everybody that believed in me. That actually still wanted me to come here and be a part of their team.”

Henderson said Buffalo is a good place for him because “there’s not much to do here but work, so no excuse.” That Willis McGahee-endorsed line of thinking may not be entirely accurate, but there’s no debating Buffalo is a far cry from South Beach.

“I had to teach myself a lot,” Henderson said of his time in college. “It was just a big learning experience. It actually took me a couple years, but at the same time, I don’t really have no regrets. I’m happy where I’m at. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m happy to be here in Buffalo.”

How long he stays will be decided both by his performance on the field and his ability to stay out of trouble off of it.

“We’ve talked to Seantrel and he knows that he’s got one shot,” Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said when Henderson was drafted. “He’s been dealing with some demons. Hopefully those demons are out of his life and why not give somebody — this is America — give somebody a chance?”

Henderson said he feels like he’s “come a long way” in his maturity. Of course, that will only be proved by his future actions.

“Come in, be on time. Accountable, reliable, dependable at all times,” is how he described his approach to the NFL. “I couldn’t have told you two years ago that I would even be here right now. A lot of things happened while I was in college as far as personal things. … But like I said, I’m happy to have this opportunity to be a Buffalo Bill.”

Marrone said “a lot of things” go into the team’s evaluation of a player like Henderson, who comes with substantial off-the-field concerns.

“Obviously it was something that we did a lot of research on,” the coach said. “We want to make sure that we know exactly what the situation is, exactly what we’re dealing with and seeing if we’re able to be the proper influence to make that change. And does the player want to make that change?”

That’s a question only Henderson can answer, but “if that happens we’re going to get ourselves one heck of a football player. If he doesn’t, he’ll go find another line of work,” Marrone said.

That’s not to say the coach doesn’t accept his share of responsibility in the reclamation project.

“I’d like to think I can influence people to be better in the community, better fathers, better husbands,” he said. “I’d like to have that type of influence on people, whether they’re coaches, whether they’re players … whatever they may be.

“When one of our players has a problem … the first thing I say is, ‘What could I have done better to help this person?’ That’s the first thing, and then ‘what could we have done better as an organization to make sure that we’ve educated our players to make the right decisions and do the right thing?’ I think that’s what this organization has been about long before I came here and I think it’s something that we want to continue and get better at.”

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Bills Sign Seantrel Henderson

The Buffalo Bills signed OT Seantrel Henderson Thursday, May 15. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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3 NFL proCanes Drafted, 11 Sign Free Agent Contracts

Three NFL proCanes were drafted this past weekend during the NFL Draft, while 11 other proCanes signed Free Agent Contracts.

3rd Round, 93rd pick overall: Brandon Linder, Jacksonville Jaguars.
6th Round, 191st pick overall: Pat O’Donnell, Chicago Bears
7th Round, 237th pick overall: Seantrel Henderson, Buffalo Bills

Free Agent Signings:

Stephen Morris, Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Hagens, Atlanta Falcons
Jared Wheeler, Carolina Panthers
Justin Renfrow, Arizona Cardinals
Shayon Green, Miami Dolphins
Jimmy Gaines, Buffalo Bills
AJ Highsmith, San Francisco 49ers
Curtis Porter, Oakland Raiders
Asante Cleveland, San Francisco 49ers
Erik Swoope, Indianapolis Colts

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Brandon Linder To Be Drafted Before Seantrel Henderson?

Couple notes in the aftermath of Seantrel Henderson’s positive marijuana test at the NFL Combine: One departing UM senior said even beyond the marijuana use, it was disappointing that Henderson allowed himself to get out of shape before the draft… Some analysts now won't be surprised if Brandon Linder ends up being drafted before Henderson….

A UM official said the program tightened loopholes in its drug-testing program last season, reducing the chance of players obtaining “clear” urine tests from friends. A person involved in the UM program said the change has reduced marijuana use on the team but did not eradicate it.

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Hurricane Staff Not Surprised By Henderson Failed Test

UM people certainly weren’t shocked today to hear of ESPN’s report that Seantrel Henderson tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine.

UM’s frustration with Henderson could be summed up this way: The staff thought he had the ability to dominate every play and he simply didn’t do it because he wasn’t serious enough about his craft and capable or willing to change his behavior, including a pattern of bad decisions, immaturity and lack of discipline.

One UM person said the belief internally was some of his behavioral patterns probably result from the fact that he had young parents (his father, a rapper in the Minneapolis area, was a teenager when Seantrel was born) and believe he didn’t learn discipline at home.

But ultimately, Henderson is responsible for his own actions, which likely have cost him a ton of money in his first NFL contract.

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Seantrel Henderson failed drug test

NFL teams were notified late last week that Miami Hurricanes right tackle Seantrel Henderson tested positive at the scouting combine for smoking marijuana, multiple league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Henderson, who has elite abilities, already had been removed from some draft boards due to the fact that he revealed at the Senior Bowl that suspensions at Miami were related to failed drug tests.

"I was partying a little bit too much at times," Henderson told The Miami Herald in January before the Senior Bowl when asked to explain his three suspensions at UM. "I had got into trouble a couple of times for marijuana. I just put all that behind me."

He also cut short his UM pro day workout for scouts in April, with Henderson's agent saying that he was dehydrated and felt sick.

Other players in the past have tested positive at the combine and gone on to have successful NFL careers.

Henderson started in only 26 of the 43 games he played with the Hurricanes.

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Seantrel Henderson Had 3 Pre-Draft Visits At Team Offices

Three teams invited UM’s Seantrel Henderson for pre-draft visits at their offices: Miami, San Francisco and Cincinnati.

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Scout: Seantrel Henderson just as talented as Robinson

An anonymous NFL scout said, on a pure talent basis, Miami T Seantrel Henderson compares to Auburn's Greg Robinson.

"He has the talent to be right there behind the Auburn kid (Greg Robinson)," said the scout. "He's amazingly athletic." That's the good news. Here's the bad: "He's got a big, beautiful body but he didn't play with a sense of urgency," another scout said. "He quit on the (pro day) workout. I thought he was a lazy butt down there at the Senior Bowl. I'm not much for taking them dogs myself." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Henderson admitted to scouts that his multiple suspensions were due to marijuana use, leading a third scout to say this: "Off the board. Dope, dope and more dope. He needs help."

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Mike Mayock Talks Seantrel Henderson

Beyond questions about Henderson’s character and marijuana use at UM, one scout said “he couldn’t draw up formations” when he met with him at the NFL Combine.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said Henderson has high bust potential. “No consistency with this kid at all,” Mayock said. “From a talent perspective, he's a first- or second-round talent. But he’s probably a fourth-round kid just because you don't know what you're getting. If you can take Brandon Linder’s toughness and tenacity and place it in Seantrel Henderson’s body, you’ll have a first-round pick.”’s Nawrocki said Henderson “already has been removed from many draft boards” but still could go in the second or third round.

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Seantrel Henderson has pre-draft visit with 49ers

The 49ers hosted Miami T Seantrel Henderson for a pre-draft visit last week.

Henderson (6-foot-7, 331 pounds) is a former elite recruit who has all the necessary tools to be a stud OT in the NFL. However, he didn't come anywhere close to living up to his ability at Miami, and he has high wash-out odds. This is a true boom-or-bust prospect, but if the cost is a Day 3 pick and the team is well coached, why not roll the dice?

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49ers met with proCane offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson

In 2007, the 49ers met before the draft with a player who was regarded as a character risk.

Coach Mike Nolan and personnel chief Scot McCloughan, the 49ers' top-ranking football people at the time, came away from their meeting with Tarell Brown feeling good enough about him that the club selected Brown in the fifth round of the draft.

Brown spent seven seasons with the 49ers and there was never any hint of character issues during his time with the team.

Each NFL team is allowed 30 pre-draft visits with prospects. Sometimes those visits are with players with whom they have genuine interest for early-round selections. Sometimes a team, such as the 49ers, will want to create the false impression there is interest.

But other times it’s because the team simply wants to gain more information about a player with either character or health concerns.

The 49ers had one such visit this week, according to a source. Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson traveled to Santa Clara to meet with the 49ers.

Henderson (6 foot 7, 331 pounds) is a talented tackle prospect who has good feet and agility for a player of his size. However, he was suspended three times during his career for violating team rules. The Sun-Sentinel reported in January that Henderson admitted to NFL teams at the Senior Bowl that marijuana use led to the suspensions.

Pass-rusher Demarcus Lawrence of Boise State, who was also suspended three times in his college career, is scheduled to meet with the 49ers next week, the Sacramento Bee previously reported.

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Seantrel Henderson to take visit with the Dolphins

The Dolphins will host Miami T Seantrel Henderson for a visit this week.
Miami desperately needs offensive tackle reinforcement in this draft, and the local product Henderson figures to be one of their contingency plans if circumstances dictate that they wait until the third-round. Henderson has taken a beating in the media over the past year, including reports that he "quit" his pro day. It should be noted that he was actually forced to withdraw due to dehydration.

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Full Pro Day Results

Eighteen UM seniors auditioned, plus former Canes players Aldarius Johnson, Davon Johnson, Vaughn Telemaque and Dyron Dye (who was tossed off the UM team last season because of his connection to the NCAA investigation, landed at Bethune Cookman and then received permission to work out Thursday).
Ray-Ray Armstrong, now with the St. Louis Rams, attended Thursday to offer emotional support for Dye, his former teammate at UM and Sanford Seminole High.

Richard Gordon, Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Micanor Regis were among other former Canes observing.  

ProDay 2014 Results

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Seantrel Henderson felt dehydrated, cut workout short

Miami (Fla.) offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is one of the more confounding prospects in this year's draft: He has a ton of natural ability and athleticism but not much of a track record. Thursday's pro day was just as confounding.

Miami's pro-day workout was not open to the media, but there were reports that Henderson quit late in the workouts. However, his agent, David Levine, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Henderson "went there intent to do the bench and position drills, but his competitive spirit took over and he did a full combine. At the end of the workout he got dehydrated, started getting a super bad headache, felt like he was going to throw up and didn't do the last two O-line drills."

Levine also told the Sun-Sentinel that Henderson improved his vertical jump (28.5 inches, from 24 inches) and broad jump (8-foot-6, from 7-9) from February's NFL Scouting Combine.

And the Sun-Sentinel quoted an NFC executive saying, "He did everything we needed to see. He just looked pretty winded at the end, but they put them through it."

Henderson was a consensus top-three player nationally out of high school in Minneapolis in 2010, but he started just 24 games in his UM career (nine of those came in his freshman season) and coaches knocked him for his lack of consistency and focus. In addition, while he is considered a prototype left tackle, he played mostly on the right side for Miami.

Henderson started six games in 2013 at right tackle and missed one game because of a suspension; it was the third time in as many seasons that Henderson missed at least a game because of a suspension. He said in January that marijuana use led to some suspensions.

At February's combine, Henderson measured in at 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.01 seconds, including a 10-yard split of 1.71 seconds. At the time, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said Henderson has "first-round talent," but he also said Henderson has "a lack of consistency both on and off the field" and could go anywhere from the second to the seventh round.

The Sun-Sentinel says Henderson met with New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese after the workout and that he has visits set up with the Dolphins, 49ers and Steelers for next week.

Henderson might be at the very top of the "buyer beware" list in this draft. He has the potential to be a dominant lineman, but he also could be a wasted draft pick. Given his baggage, a team is taking an unnecessary risk if it selects him before the third day (Rounds 4-7) of the draft.

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Dolphins To Audition Several Future proCanes

The Dolphins will audition several UM players --- including offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, quarterback Stephen Morris, receiver Allen Hurns, d-tackle Curtis Porter and guard Brandon Linder --- next week. FIU defensive tackle Isame Faciane is among other local players invited to that Dolphins workout.

Ten of the players also have been invited to dinner with Dolphins position coaches the night before, including Henderson and UM tight end Asante Cleveland. Henderson, by the way, also has been invited to visit the Steelers and Vikings.

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Will Seantrel Henderson's Admission of Marijuana Use Hurt His Draft Stock?

The issue of drug use is becoming more complicated in light of states like Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana and others considering or already legalizing medical marijuana.

So will it hurt former University of Miami offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson now that he's acknowledged his college suspensions were related to marijuana use? Perhaps.

"I will say this, there has been a tendency in the public mind to look upon marijuana more leniently. I'm not sure that's true of clubs," said Polian, now an ESPN analyst. "My experience with people is that the performance of those who use marijuana on a regular basis, as reported on verified official tests, has not been good. In fact, it's been abysmal. So I haven't bought into the fact that it's harmless."

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Seantrel Henderson runs 5.03 with 1.71 10 yd

Miami T Seantrel Henderson ran two unofficial forty times of 5.03 seconds with a personal best 10 yard split of 1.71 seconds.

Henderson has always had great upside and flashed it on the field. Predominantly lining up at right tackle, the former top recruit has a great combination of agility and power. However, questions come with Henderson's evaluation. He could be a great player in the right situation, but he has a lot to work on, including on the field.

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Seantrel Henderson seeks momentum at combine

The NFL Scouting Combine runs Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis, and it brings together 335 of the nation's most draftable players and numerous front-office representatives and scouts from each NFL team.

A big portion of the combine is the individual events, such as the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the vertical jump.

This is Part 3 of our position-by-position look at the combine, spotlighting offensive linemen. We look at six prospects who will be scrutinized this year and also look at noteworthy event performances in the past five combines. We'll also look at how notable current NFL players performed at their combine events.

OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami: Henderson (6-foot-6, 337 pounds) is massive and has tremendous athleticism for a guy his size. He is expected to fully show off his athletic gifts at the combine. But to steal a line from Winston Churchill, Henderson is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. He hasn't come close to matching his high-school hype or living up to his potential. The question for scouts after they watch what should be a strong combine showing from the big man is how much stock they should put in actual game tape.

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Seantrel Henderson moving on after failing to live up to hype

Seantrel Henderson never asked for all of it. Or maybe he did. That's the hard part four years removed from being the nation's No. 1 high school player.

Seantrel Henderson never asked to be The Next Big Thing. Or, if he did, no one ever told him it would be like this ...

• Becoming the rare offensive linemen to be considered the best prep player in the country.

• Being a part of -- or maybe orchestrating -- one of the most dizzying, anticipated, breathless, wild recruiting journeys in recent history.

• Being flown halfway across the country to declare his undying love for Southern California on (then) CBS College Sports Network.

• Then changing his mind five months later. On Signing Day 2010, Henderson's made-for-television decision was only a commitment. He didn't sign his scholarship until the next month, concerned about possible NCAA penalties at USC.

In July 2010, USC released Henderson without a fight after the crippling NCAA penalties were finally handed down. The giant from Minnesota who fell in love with the West Coast ended up at Miami.

It was a career littered with starts (26 in his career) and stops (various injuries). He experienced two head coaches and three suspensions -- Henderson revealed recently -- because of marijuana use.

Despite being a freshman All-American, Henderson never rose higher than third-team all-ACC.

"How did he play?" asked Art Kehoe, Henderson's offensive line coach for three of his four seasons at Miami. "I would say that he's been a work in progress."
In a word, Seantrel Henderson's career was OK. Not great, not a bust. Just kind of there.

The kid who knows a thing or two about being the biggest thing in the game -- NFL scouts recently measured him at 6-feet-7 and 331 pounds -- has been merely serviceable as a collegian.

"I don't know if he was a superstar," Kehoe said, "but he improved a lot each year."

As another Signing Day approaches, Henderson's tale is cautionary -- for him, for us, for the recruiting culture, for the American psyche. In a society that values hype over substance, forgets those highlight-show slam dunks are still worth only two points, Henderson is a another reminder.

We love our prospects to fulfill their destinies.

Frequently, they don't.

"That's one of the things wrong with recruiting out of high school," Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron said this week on the Jim Rome Show. "I don't know if it's complacency, so much as entitlement.

"You've got guys who never played the game of football rating these guys. They're a five-star because [the recruiting experts] are sitting behind a computer watching highlight film.

"The highlight film is supposed to be good."

Henderson's was off the charts. He smashed mere mortals across from him in high school. He neutralized top defensive prospect (and soon-to-be Florida signee) Ronald Powell in all-star game practices. There was a future at left tackle, arguably the second-most important position in the game. You might recall a best-selling movie and book (The Blind Side) that celebrated that fact.

Except that in college Henderson mostly played right tackle.

The ultimate irony: The kid left one NCAA mess for another. Between USC and Miami, Henderson was aligned with two schools that endured a combined four bowl bans and the loss of 39 scholarships.

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming had Henderson as his No. 1 prospect as a high school sophomore. He called Henderson a franchise player, the first No. 1 player at offensive line he had had since Bill Fralic in 1980.

At a high school (Cretin-Durham Hall) that produced an All-Star catcher (Joe Mauer), a Heisman winner (Chris Weinke) and a baseball Hall of Famer (Paul Molitor), Henderson was going to be the next member of the legends club. Until he wasn't.

"He had what it takes to be Orlando Pace or Jonathan Ogden, who knows?" Lemming said. "The legacy [is one] of maybe underachievement and maybe effort."

There is speculation Henderson might get dropped off some draft boards because of the marijuana admission. He's projected as a fourth- or fifth-round draft choice.

"He will be a better pro player than college player," Lemming said. "It will be the incentive of making money and not having to go to school."

Not a great projection, not bad one either. Just kind of in the middle -- like Henderson's college career.

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Seantel Henderson has Senior Bowl to forget

Miami T Seantrel Henderson struggled during the Senior Bowl.
A forgettable week of practice culminated in a game in which Henderson repeatedly allowed North edge rushers to pressure his quarterbacks. "This film is going to be scrutinized more than any tape they put out there," North coach Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons said. That's not a comforting thought for the massive tackle. Rotoworld's Josh Norris noted the drop of Henderson's stock in his Senior Bowl Review column. "Henderson seemed to plateau and failed to use his combination of athleticism and strength effectively," Norris wrote. "I still think Henderson can be successful if he lands with the right team."

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Seantrel Henderson says he has told teams about marijuana use

Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson has told NFL teams that marijuana use led to some suspensions in college.

"I'm just being honest with every team and letting them know exactly what the situations were, and that I'm putting all the negative things behind me moving on to the next level," Henderson told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I want to be a starter and play in the NFL.

"I'm showing my character. Showing them that I'm responsible, reliable, dependable. I want to keep letting them know all the negative things are behind me."

Henderson measured almost 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds at Monday's weigh-in for the Reese's Senior Bowl. He is gifted physically -- he is mammoth and has a huge wingspan and excellent coordination -- but had a checkered college career, including three suspensions.

He was a consensus top-three player nationally out of high school in the Minneapolis area in 2010, but he started just 24 games in his UM career (nine of those came in his freshman season) and coaches knocked him for his lack of consistency and focus. In addition, while he is considered a prototype left tackle, he played mostly on the right side for Miami.

Henderson started six games this season at right tackle and missed one game because of a suspension; it was the third time in as many seasons that Henderson missed at least a game because of a suspension.

One NFL executive who spoke to the Sun-Sentinel on the condition of anonymity said that "as long as he doesn't fail the combine's drug test, we can get past that. Plenty of teams take chances on players with his talent."

One team that evidently won't consider Henderson is the Philadelphia Eagles; reported that the Eagles no longer had interest in Henderson.
Henderson is at or near the top of the "buyer-beware" list in this draft. He has the potential to be a dominant lineman; he also could be a wasted draft pick.

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Seantrel Henderson knows there are skeptics

MOBILE, Ala. – Seantrel Henderson went to the University of Miami has a much-heralded recruit – the first offensive lineman to win USA Today’s High School Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Henderson, from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, chose the Hurricanes but he came to the Senior Bowl this week ready to answer just as many questions about his off-field activities as his on-field play.

Henderson was suspended three times for violation of “team rules” by the Hurricanes and never started more than nine games in a season.

“I felt like I had a lot of maturing to do and I feel like I have,” he said. “Now I’m ready to move onto the next level.”

Henderson said honesty is the best policy when talking to teams.

“I’ve been taking interviews since I’ve been here and I’ve let them know exactly what happened and that the past is the past,” he said. “Eighteen years old, ranked super high, expectations from everybody to play the best you can. Some people think you’re supposed to be mistake-free, but you’re still a kid.”

Per the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Henderson has told teams his suspensions were the result of marijuana use.

Henderson certainly looks the part – he checked in at 6 feet, 6 7/8 inches and 331 pounds on Monday.

But one knock should be that he played only right tackle at the U. Henderson started 26 games in four years.

Hurricanes teammate Stephen Morris thinks Henderson has turned the corner.

“Definitely,” Morris said. “Where he was maturity wise his sophomore and junior years to what he showed his senior year, it was a 180-degree turn. That will only keep going.”

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Seantrel Henderson still working to realize potential at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. -- They look as if they walked straight out of the dreams of NFL scouts and onto the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Want an offensive tackle? How about a 6-foot-7, 331-pounder with low body fat, nimble feet and fluid hips? Need a quarterback? How about a 6-6, 250-pounder who can outrun a linebacker with an arm that appears capable of reaching the moon on a rope?

These must be obvious first-rounders. Right? No? Second-rounders? No? In fact, the draft positions of Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson and Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas are quite difficult to project. The first round is probably out of the question at this point. How far will they fall? That will depend how much teams rely on the eyeball test and how much they rely on college tape. For Henderson and Thomas, the former should help them immensely. Each player looks like the ideal for his position. Even among other elite players at the Senior Bowl, these two stand out from the moment they step off the bus to go to practice. Every measurable is close to perfect. The latter will haunt them. Henderson and Thomas represent the inverse of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, an undersized, injured prospect who on Monday seemed perfectly comfortable when he said "[NFL teams] have four years of film on me." Teams have four years of film on Henderson and Thomas as well, and it's as big of a problem for them as it is a help to Murray.

Henderson came to Miami -- after originally signing with USC -- ranked by as the No. 1 offensive line recruit and No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2010. He seemed a can't-miss prospect who might dominate at The U the way left tackle Bryant McKinnie did at the turn of the century. Playing mostly at right tackle, Henderson started only 26 games and never developed into the player he projected to be coming out of high school. Injuries, a 2012 car crash and suspensions -- Henderson told The Miami Herald this week they were for marijuana use -- held back Henderson during his time in Coral Gables.

Judging by their performances at practices for the Senior Bowl, the two have taken different approaches. Henderson hasn't shown much improvement. Thomas, however, has shown a willingness to work on the issues that plagued him throughout his college career. On Wednesday, Henderson offered little punch -- the act of firing one's arms into the chest of a pass-rusher to slow or stop his progress -- while getting blown past by rushers Marcus Smith (Louisville) and Kareem Martin (North Carolina). Yet Henderson's feet still appeared nimble for a man of his size, and it was easy to see how a coach might feel he could turn Henderson into a serviceable (or better) NFL tackle with some instruction. The problem? There are players who lack the physical gifts but make up for them in technique who are more ready to play right away.

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Seantrel Henderson Admits To Partying Too Much & Using Marijuana While At UM

MOBILE -- Seantrel Henderson couldn’t hide even if he tried. At 6-7, 331 pounds, he’s one of the biggest guys in town.

So no, there’s no blending in for Henderson, the University of Miami offensive tackle who’s hoping for a shot in the NFL.

It’s not his style, anyway. When it comes to the biggest factor holding back his draft potential — character red flags — Henderson doesn’t shrink.

“I was partying a little bit too much at times,” Henderson said when asked to explain his three (at least) suspensions at UM.

“I had got into trouble a couple of times for marijuana. I just put all that behind me.”

Such candor is refreshing for anyone — let alone someone trying to make the NFL. “Honesty is key,” Henderson said, when asked why he elected to discuss his past trouble with drugs.

It’s not like those issues are a secret. They’re a real concern for scouts and decision-makers as they set their draft boards. Some teams take character red flags off their draft board altogether.

That’s why this week’s all-star showcase is so important. Of course, Henderson needs to prove he has the physical goods to play in the NFL. (Stephen Morris, Henderson’s teammate at both UM and the Senior Bowl, doesn’t think that’s a problem. “He’s one of those amazing athletes that when he gets his hands on you, the play’s over for you.&rdquoWinking

But Henderson also needs to prove to scouts and coaches that he has matured — with his deeds, not his words. This week’s all-star showcase is Step One.
Henderson’s pedigree is well-known. He picked UM out of St. Paul, Minn., where he was the USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year. But in his four years on campus, Henderson had setback after setback: suspensions, homesickness, back surgery, a car accident and the deaths of a family member and close friend.

In January 2013, after realizing his draft projection had not lived up to the previous hype, Henderson announced he would remain at UM. “I do believe that I’m a potential first-rounder,” he said at the time.

He still believes it — even if draft experts see him as more of a third-day project.

“I want to be a starter and play in the NFL,” he said Tuesday.

Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout who’s now a draft analyst at NFL Network, said Henderson “looked the part” during his weigh-in.
But then came the inevitable caveat. “Talented player with off-field baggage,” Jeremiah said.

Henderson passed the eye test in other ways. He’s in the best shape of his life. He used to sport dreadlocks; now his hair is short.

And he’s saying all the right things.

Granted, he did the same in August, swearing he had turned over a new leaf. Two months later, he was suspended again for violating a team rule.

But Morris believes there truly is a new Henderson.

“From where he was, maturity-wise, his junior and sophomore years to the ability he showed on the field his senior year is a complete 180,” Morris said. “That’s going to keep going.”

Added Morris: “Unbelievable person. He’ll make you laugh all day. He’ll dance like crazy. He’s one of those guys that you want on your team. He’ll fight, really be in the trenches and fight with you.”

During the next four months, Henderson intends to prove that to all 32 NFL teams.

That’s why he plans to be on time to every meeting, work hard on every rep and answer any question that comes his way — either from teams or the media.

“I feel like just being honest with everybody and just let them know exactly what my problems were and that there are no longer any,” he said.

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Seantrel Henderson hoping to prove the past is past

MOBILE, Alabama -- He was the top offensive line prospect in the nation coming out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., in 2010, a mountain of a blocker who had college offers from Miami to Southern Cal.

His college career never quite lived up to the hype, marred with three separate suspensions and nearly sidetracked by a car accident in 2012 that left him concussed and cited for running a red light, while two children in the other car were injured.

But Miami offensive tackle Sentrel Henderson says he's learned and matured through it all - and he's ready to prove it this week to NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl.

"I feel like I've matured a lot over the years," Henderson said. "I'm just ready to move on to the next level.  ... I've been taking interviews since I've been here and I'm just being honest with every team and letting them know exactly what happened and the past is the past."

How can he prove that in a week? "Just by how I carry myself every day and my character," he said. "That's all they can really see while I'm here for this week. I've just got to keep showing everybody exactly who I am."

Henderson, who is playing for the North squad this week, surely got people's attention on Monday morning at the weigh-in, as he was measured at nearly 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds. His measurables have always been there, but Henderson said he wants to prove this week that he's a high-effort player as well.

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"I just want to prove I'm explosive off the ball and there will be effort violations, if that's what you want to call it," he said. "Always play to the whistle, pass block really good, make sure I'm protecting the quarterback and anybody that's touching the ball, running downfield and helping whoever's got the ball, helping them get up. That's me."

While many high school players go to college with something to prove, Henderson was the kid who couldn't miss - the five-star blue-chipper that college recruiters compared to Orlando Pace. Four years later, Henderson looks back and sees all that as a lot of pressure for an incoming freshman.

"You're just an 18-year-old kid ranked super-high, there's a lot of expectations, everybody wants you to play good, wants you to play the best you can," he said. "I think some people feel like you're supposed to be mistake-free, but you're still a kid at the time."

Henderson made headlines before he ever played a down of college football, as his extended recruitment was national news. He signed with USC but the Trojans were hit with severe NCAA sanctions, including a two-year bowl ban, a couple months later and he was released from his scholarship by Lane Kiffin, who was entering his first year as the Trojans' head coach. Henderson, who then went to Miami, says now that his lack of chemistry with Kiffin was much a reason for his departure from USC as the sanctions.

"It wasn't all about the violations," he said. "I didn't really have a good relationship with those guys. ... We just didn't click."

Miami, meanwhile, had its own NCAA issues arise in the form of the Nevin Shapiro case, and the Hurricanes voluntarily sat out the postseason in 2011 and 2012 as part of their self-imposed penalties. The NCAA did not add an additional bowl ban when it handed down its sanctions last year, however, and Henderson wrapped up his senior year by playing in the Florida Citrus Bowl, where Miami fell to Louisville.

Henderson, who was recruited to Miami while Randy Shannon was head coach, said he was impressed with how Shannon's successor, Al Golden, handled the situation.

"That meant a lot to us as a team," he said. "I can only imagine what coach Golden was really going through that we didn't really get to see, coming into a whole different team and then he's already got penalties that he really didn't have anything to do with."

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Seantrel Henderson Moving Up Senior Bowl Watch LIst

Seantrel Henderson of Miami (Fla.) also plays offensive tackle. A celebrated prep recruit, he didn't have a celebrated collegiate career.

At Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., Henderson was named the 2009 USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year, the first lineman to win the award. The Football Writers Association of America selected Henderson as a freshman All-American in 2010. In 2011, he started just two games after undergoing offseason back surgery. In 2012, Henderson missed practice times and a game because of a suspension and a concussion suffered in a traffic accident. He started seven games and was still an honorable mention All-ACC choice. He was an honorable mention All-ACC selection again as a senior, even though he was limited to eight starts, again missing one game because of a suspension.

"Another player to keep an eye on is Seantrel Henderson from Miami," Phil Savage, the executive director of the Senior Bowl said. "He was the No. 1 recruit in the nation, committed to (Southern Cal) but ended up in Miami. He had some issues there during his career. This guy's a card-carrying giant. He's 6-8, 350 pounds. I talked to (Miami coach) Al Golden, and Al assured me -- he said, 'Look, this kid is in the best place he's ever been. He's playing the best football of his life, and he is legit NFL.' I think he could benefit in a big way from being here this week."

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FIVE Future proCanes Invited to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine

Five Miami Hurricanes have accepted invitations to participate at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, while will be held Feb. 22-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The four-day combine will be televised live on NFL Network.

QB Stephen Morris, OG Brandon Linder, OT Seantrel Henderson, WR Allen Hurns and P Pat O'Donnell will be among the more than 300 prospects evaluated by all 32 NFL teams. Linder, Henderson and O’Donnell will work out on Feb. 22, while Morris and Hurns will work out Feb. 23.

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