By Philip Robinson | @chocP3thunder | 03/07/2016 9:16am PST
The NFL combine has come and gone filling us with a renewed sense of purpose as we now have a better idea of what each player is capable of. What makes the combine rock is the ability to see all of the players whose names we have heard all year long as the powerhouse D-1 schools match-up in drills against lesser known athletes in a contest of skill. Here is the path of a formerly unknown player who should be skyrocketing up draft boards.
Florida Atlantic University has been the home of a magnificent athlete and defensive end by the name of Trey Hendrickson. At FAU Hendrickson played in 34 games posted 125 tackles 29.5 sacks and 41 tackles for loss. The six-foot-four 266 pound senior was the 2016 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, making 50 tackles recording 9.5 sacks and a forced fumble, and fumble recovery. As a junior he registered 13.5 sacks in 11 games and forced 5 fumbles, in 12 games.
Hendrickson was only known locally until he hit the East West Shrine Game and it all changed. Hendrickson would be named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player despite being on the losing end of a 10-3 ballgame. Hendrickson displayed lightning fast quickness, an elite first step, a fantastic swim move and a relentless motor on his way to posting two tackles and a forced fumble on a strip sack. Earning him an invite to the combine.
Participating in group one placed Hendrickson in the same group as Myles Garrett the defensive wonderkid from Texas A&M and favorite to be the first player selected in the 2017 draft. Garrett is six-foot-five 273 pounds which gives him a slightly larger build than Hendrickson. In no way am I committing to saying Hendrickson is a better player or prospect, but the numbers at the combine will show you are getting a similar talent.
Hendrickson’s athleticism is off the charts keep in mind he’s a 4-3 defensive end, but shows excellent hand eye coordination and has one of the fastest bursts for any front-7 defender around. Hendrickson ran an official 4.65 second forty yard dash, with a 10 yard split of 1.59 seconds which were the second fastest times for all true defensive lineman. A time faster than all of the defensive lineman, faster than seven running backs, Throughout the many variety of movement drills thrown at him Hendrickson continued to shine brighter and brighter.
Outstanding footwork provides the steady base for smooth hips allowing for excellent change of direction capabilities while being able to maintain good leverage thru lateral movement. Hendrickson displayed all of these throughout the read and react drill, the weave drill, the rip drill, and the stack and shed drill, and a fairly good showing in a curl flat drop drill. With fluid movement and having great size and excellent speed Hendrickson appears to have all the physical tools needed to be today’s hybrid edge defender as a 4-3 defensive end and a 3-4 outside linebacker capable of standing up and putting a hand in the dirt.