Florida’s Zuniga, Henderson stand out at NFL Combine

Florida defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


The Florida football team was well represented at the NFL Scouting Combine last week in Indianapolis.

Tyrie Cleveland, Jonathan Greenard, CJ Henderson, Van Jefferson, Lamical Perine, Freddie Swain, Tommy Townsend and Jabari Zuniga  put their skills on display in front of NFL personnel.

Two of the players really stood out and had scouts and media analysts passing out praise and made their All-Combine Team:

Zuniga: His standing before the combine wasn’t as high as one might expect simply because his production wasn’t consistent in college. He sure did produce in Indianapolis, though, backing up the flashes on tape with the second-best 40 among D-linemen (4.64 at 264 pounds) and tied for fifth in bench press with 29 reps, out-benching heavier players like Derrick Brown. Zuniga was explosive through change-of-direction drills and looks the part of a legitimate NFL defender, as long as he can stay healthy. — NFL.com’s Nick Shook

•With Zuniga, you either buy into the flashes or you don’t. He’s an explosive athlete who has been splashing and flashing since his freshman season but failed to fully reach the promise his traits and explosiveness implied. A monstrous start to 2019 was truncated due to a high ankle sprain. He’s disruptive in the gaps but is not stout enough at the point of attack. He has edge-rushing ability but could find stardom as a reduced rusher in sub-packages, where he’s craftier and more capable of exploiting athletic mismatches. His boogeyman qualities could spring themselves upon unsuspecting offenses relatively early in his career, but his grade is based on projection over production. By Lance Zierlein, NFL analyst at NFL.com

Henderson: He tied for second among corners in the 40 at 4.39, hit 20 reps on the bench press, jumped to 37 1/2 inches and finished with an athleticism score of 99 (per Next Gen Stats). Many of Henderson’s measurables line up with that of eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, though he’s lighter by 15 pounds. His on-field workout displayed fluidity and burst through footwork drills and he showed reliable, natural ball skills, justifying his ranking as a top corner prospect despite a lack of total production in college. — NFL.com’s Nick Shook

•Silky smooth boundary cornerback with mirror-and-match footwork and the agility and athleticism to stay connected to routes. He has NFL recovery burst and the long speed to track vertical routes downfield. He has the twitchy acceleration to jump a throw and take it away if the quarterback lingers on the target, and he’s quick to wrap and finish after the catch. He makes mental mistakes from time to time and occasionally loses awareness from zone. He’s willing and capable in run support but needs better control as an open-field tackler. Henderson is a fluid cornerback with ball skills and burst and has CB1 ability as a first-rounder. — By Lance Zierlein, NFL analyst at NFL.com



    • True that Daz! I know Zuniga was hurt, but it seems as though scouts are questioning his motor, which might or might not be as low revving as was Jachai Polite’s.

      No questioning Greenard’s motor. Greenard is obviously no slouch athletically, but imagine him with Zuniga’s physical gifts. He would be the second coming of LT!

  1. Zuniga is a 3rd round pick. Henderson is late 2nd or early 3rd. Greenard, however, is a projected 1st or 2nd round. The surprise pick among the Gators could well be Perine, who has rated very high at the combine. He’s gone from a 6th round/free agent to 3rd or 4th round. He does so many things well, but his blocking has impressed as has his pass-catching ability and YAC. I think whoever gets him is getting a steal.

  2. I agree with cattrick – Perine is a very solid RB – has all the tools and is very disciplined! We have several Gators that will be chosen in the early rounds – a testimony to Gator football. Let’s see what HC Mullen has in store for us this coming season – GO GATORS!!!