Don't be surprised if the Atlanta Falcons draft Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson in the mid rounds. Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice has been giving Henderson a lot of extra attention in practice this week. Henderson and Tice both hail from Minnesota, and as one contact from Minnesota said, "there are so few of us guys from Minnesota in this industry, we kind of stick together and look out for another."
Henderson needs a firm hand to give him some guidance and discipline. Tice, a big man who commands respect with the experience of being a player and head coach, is the perfect mentor to straighten out the gifted Henderson. The Falcons have stated that they want to get bigger and more physical on the offensive line. Henderson would provide a lot of upside to develop. Tice and Atlanta would be a perfect landing spot for Henderson, and those stars could be aligning.
The obvious caveats apply here, as these are rumors being passed along by a site without a reputation for breaking news, and we have no idea who the sources are. Still, this is a logical fit in enough ways that I figured the rumor was worth passing on.
Henderson is a big ol' nasty tackle who has off-the-field problems, with violations of team policy and a car accident with citations to his name. I don't know if the character concerns that have dogged him from Miami are as bad as they've been made out to be, but a strong locker room would do him a world of good regardless.
The Falcons could seriously consider Henderson if he's hanging around in the third or fourth round. He has the talent to be a starting-caliber tackle in the NFL, and the Falcons could even consider that infamous cross-training at guard if they're happy with Sam Baker and Lamar Holmes outside. There's no question the team could stand to add size and toughness to the line, either way, and Henderson would fit the bill.
Do you think he'll be an option for the Falcons?