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.