TREY HENDRICKSON, DE
6’4″, 267 pounds
Hendrickson, the 2016 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, was drafted with the 39th pick in the third round (No. 103 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Once looked at as nothing more than a two-star recruit from Apopka who showed potential as a situational defensive end, Hendrickson dominated in Conference USA play en route to becoming the top defensive player in FAU history.
Breaking out onto the national scene after a 13.5-sack performance in 2015 — as well as nearly helping the Owls upset the Florida Gators in Gainesville — Hendrickson finished with 9.5 sacks in 2016 despite being double- and triple-teamed on nearly every play.
Hendrickson also shined on special teams, leading the nation in blocked kicks with four, including one against the Hurricanes in Miami.
Though his future at defensive end remains uncertain as teams have contemplated moving him to linebacker, the Saints are getting a steal by picking Hendrickson in the third round.
Pros: Strength and a high motor, even against double or triple teams. Displays an excellent vision on defense and made improvements in stopping the run this past season. Dominant on special teams and forcing turnovers, as evidenced by his nation-best four blocked kicks in 2016. Fantastic swim move that will only get better in the NFL. High leadership capabilities that helped keep an FAU locker room fresh and motivated even through three straight losing seasons.
Cons: Could still be too small to play defensive end, and a change to linebacker at the NFL level is possible. Needs to work on his awareness, especially against quarterbacks who will call multiple audibles. Emotion is good, but often shows too much emotion and doesn’t take failure well. “Needs to do better job of thumping and setting a strong edge. Plays too tall in his tackle-end twist transitions, allowing blockers under his pads.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
NFL Combine results:
40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds (did not run at FAU’s Pro Day)
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
Broad jump: 122 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.03 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.20 seconds
60-yard shuffle: 11.43 seconds
The expert says:
“His lack of length on the edge will be a turn-off for some, but he flashes enough to warrant a third-day draft selection as a backup 4-3 defensive end who could continue to develop as a rusher with additional work.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com