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News4Jax draft reaction: CJ Henderson fills a major need for Jaguars

Justin Jefferson attempts a reception against CJ Henderson of the Florida Gators during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Justin Jefferson attempts a reception against CJ Henderson of the Florida Gators during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) (2018 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars made Florida cornerback CJ Henderson their draft pick at No. 9 in the opening round on Thursday night. The News4Jax sports staff offers its analysis on the selection, the first of their two selections on Thursday night.

Justin Barney

I mocked Derrick Brown to Jacksonville, but said that if he was gone, Henderson would be the pick. Brown went to the Panthers two picks before and the Jaguars got Henderson. The secondary was in major need of a playmaker after shedding talented players right and left. AJ Bouye. Gone. Jalen Ramsey. Gone. No disrespect, but would you feel comfortable going into the season with Tre Herndon and Rashaan Melvin as the guys there?

Jacksonville needed a corner bad and got the second-best corner in the draft. Is he a home run selection who will inspire the fanbase like a flashy receiver or a quarterback would have? No.

Henderson wouldn’t have been there at No. 20 and I like the pick better than a guy like defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and any of the offensive linemen. Corner is so much bigger of a need and they got a good one.

Cole Pepper

The first eight picks of the draft went about like most expected, which left the Jaguars to take a player who wasn’t one of the elite players in the draft. But Henderson does fill a need and he should start right away. I would have liked the Jaguars to have taken a big man — offensive tackle or defensive line — and they can still do that with the 20th pick.

But the question is can they find someone who can make a big difference? My expectation is that Henderson will be a good player, but I don’t think he’s going to play at the level of Jalen Ramsey. That being said, if he’s a no-drama player, Doug Marrone will be a happy man.

Jamal St. Cyr

CJ Henderson fills a need at cornerback. Jawaan Taylor said he wanted Henderson to join him here in Jacksonville and he got his wish. The Jaguars knew they needed help at cornerback. After Henderson, there was a huge drop off in talent. Henderson will be a starter on Day 1.

With Henderson, Tre Herndon, Rashaan Melvin and DJ Hayden at corner, the Jaguars secondary has a little bit of talent to work with. From all accounts, Henderson’s personality is the complete opposite of Jalen Ramsey. If his play can reach close to Ramsey’s level, Henderson will be the perfect player to fill the hole left in the defense.


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