What seems to be a dying breed in today’s NFL is your prototypical 3-4 nose tackle. You just don’t see a mass of those type of players entering the draft on a yearly basis. For teams in demand of the position, Roderick Henderson is a name they’ll learn to get comfortable with. The Alabama State product and former Southern Miss transfer, Henderson is one of the best pure 3-4 nose tackles in this year’s draft class. At 6’1”/352, Henderson brings the size to clog holes against the run and eat up blocks. He moves very well for a man of his size and plays the game with extreme power. As you’ll see in his highlight video below, Henderson gets a push on nearly every single play.
Absolutely dominant against FCS competition, Henderson finished up his senior season with 35 total stops, a team-leading 12.5 tackles for loss along with 2 blocked kicks on his way to 2nd Team All-SWAC. He finished his college career with an invite to the NFLPA College Bowl which has produced NFL talent such as Chris Conley, Ricardo Louis and Marquette King in recent years.
While he currently projects as a late round pick or undrafted free agent, Henderson’s combination of size, speed and power are hard to ignore, especially for nose tackle needy teams. He fits the mold to perfection, and it only takes one team to fall in love with you in order to make you a draft pick. Roderick Henderson is a guy to keep on your radar. I was honored to conduct a short interview with him, check it out below:
Q: You transferred from Southern Mississippi to Alabama State. How was the transition and what was the toughest part of changing schools?
A: The transition from Southern Miss to Alabama State was very different dealing with a football stand point because Alabama state is a HBCU. So some people always say we cannot compete with bigger schools. So playing at Alabama State always made me play with a chip on my shoulders. And it wasn’t a tough decision because it was a family move..
Q: Recently you participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game. How was your experience there?
A: Playing in the NFLPA bowl was very fun and a great learning experience to get a jump on how things are ran in the NFL. I really loved it, everybody treated you like family..
Q: Did you build any relationships there with coaches or players?
A: Yes I built some relationships with some players, hopefully I can play with some of them this year.
Q: What would you say is the biggest strength of your game?
A: My biggest strength is my ability to change the line of scrimmage every play, demand double teams blocks, pad level, hands, blocking field goals.
Q: You’re an imposing force at 350+ pounds. How do you use that size to your advantage?
A: I use my size to my advantage to scare my opponents with the force I bring to them.
Q: What NFL player would you say you model your game after?
A: The player I mold my game after is Vince Wilfork. I think we play so much alike, I think I just got a lil quicker twitch like Damon Harrison, but I love Vince Wilfork, I call myself Vince Wilfork Jr..
Q: What are you going to do with your first NFL paycheck?
A: My first check, it just all depend on how much it is.
Q: Is there any team you would prefer playing for?
A: I will play for any team, it really doesn’t matter because whatever team I get they gonna love me.