Willie Henry   DL   Michigan

Willie has excellent overall athletic talent to play more than one position on the defensive line in multiple styles of defenses. He can play in a 2-gap and be productive, but his ability to impact might be on the outside in a 3-4 defense or in a 1-gap attack defense. In that style of defense he can use his quickness, foot speed and burst off the line to rush the passer and get into the backfield to disrupt the timing of plays against the offense. Willie is very smart and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. His quickness off the snap of the ball and pad level gives him immediate advantage to change the line of scrimmage in his favor on almost every play. He is stout against the run and against the double team. He plays inside using his athletic talent and football intelligence to survive, but when I see him outside against right tackles, he really smokes them and has just enough agility to turn the corner for sacks or to make a quarterback move in the pocket. I can see the athletic talent to rush the passer and be stout against the run when Willie plays on the outside. I think he might get close to double digit sacks for the smart team that selects him in this draft -- if he is in the right defense.

Keeping Willie inside in a 4-3 defense will lessen his impact. He can play it without any problems, but he is more effective on the outside in a 3-4 defense as a defensive end very similar to JJ Watt.

Thatís right, I said it, Willie has the potential to be as impacting as JJ Watt, but not if youíre going to make him play inside in a 4-3 defense where he can be double teamed all the time. Willie in the right defense will impact in a big way. Put him up against right tackles and right guards and Willieís quickness and athleticism to move in space will surprise you. Iím not suggesting that Willie is the next JJ Watt, but I am suggesting that he will impact in that same style of defense using him the same way. He could give you double digit sacks and is very stout against the run so it seems to me that if youíre looking for a 3-4 defensive end, Willie would be high on your list. In fact if youíre looking for an impact defensive lineman, I would think that Willie should be high on your list. In this draft there are a lot of talented, impacting defensive linemen that will be selected in the 2nd and 3rd rounds because this draft is stocked with talented defensive players. I suspect Willie will be one of those drafted later than he should be, but that has nothing to do with his ability to impact at the next level. In the right defense, Willie will become an impact player and if some 3-4 defensive team sees what I see, then Willie could slip into the 1st round asa he has that type of potential, but primarily in a 3-4 defense.

Drew Boylhart  APR.2016