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Florida Football

Henderson goes No. 9 overall to Jacksonville

April 23, 2020
104

Courtesy Florida Sports Information:

Former Gators defensive back CJ Henderson was selected ninth overall in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I feel the most comfortable with staying in Florida, that's huge," said Henderson, following his selection. "Being able to stay close to my family and my former college. I feel like I bring a lot to Jacksonville. I feel like I can take out opponents and number one receivers and I plan to do that here."

Overall, UF has now had 53 first-round selections in its storied history and has totaled 18 first-round picks since 2007, which is fourth-most among all schools nationally. Only Alabama (33), Ohio State (23) and LSU (21) have more. Meanwhile, USC (15), Clemson (14), Georgia (13), Florida State (12), and Notre Dame (10) trail the Gators.

Henderson is also the 13th Gator to be taken in the top 10 during the common draft era and the highest-selected defensive player since Joe Haden was drafted seventh overall by Cleveland in 2010. UF now ranks tied for third among SEC schools (LSU) with the most top-10 draft picks since 1967 behind only Alabama (25) and Texas A&M (14).

In addition, UF has had nine defensive backs selected in the first round since 1970 and Henderson is the latest Gator DB since Vernon Hargreaves (2016/11th) to be selected in the top 15.

"CJ Henderson is a physical defensive back. Great size, about six-foot-one, 204 pounds. Extremely athletic," said ESPN analyst Desmond Howard. "[He] tracks the ball extremely well and has supreme confidence in his speed. Really good make-up speed. Once the ball is in the air, he can go get it. That's a pretty tremendous selection right there."

Henderson is the first UF defensive back to be selected in the draft's opening round since 2016 when safety Keanu Neal went 17th overall to the Atlanta Falcons and Hargreaves was the 11th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is the first Gator first-rounder since DL Taven Bryan was selected 29th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.

Jacksonville has now drafted 12 Gators, most recently selecting Jawaan Taylor in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Henderson joins Bryan (2018), Dante Fowler Jr. (2015), Fred Taylor (1998), Reggie Nelson (2007) and DE Derrick Harvey (2008) as the only Jaguars' first-round draft picks from Florida.

UF has now had at least one pick in every NFL Draft since 1952, the longest streak in the SEC.

All-Time UF Defensive Backs Selected in the First Round Since 1970

  *   20th overall, 1970: DB Steve Tannen, New York Jets
  *   25th overall, 1989: FS Louis Oliver, Miami Dolphins
  *   26th overall, 2002: CB Lito Sheppard, Philadelphia Eagles
  *   21st overall, 2007: S Reggie Nelson, Jacksonville Jaguars
  *   7th overall, 2010: CB Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns
  *   32nd overall, 2013: S Matt Elam, Baltimore Ravens
  *   11th overall, 2016: CB Vernon Hargreaves, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  *   71th overall, 2016: S Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons
  *   9th overall, 2020: DB CJ Henderson, Jacksonville Jaguars

UF Draft Notes:

  *   The Gators have had 10 first round picks in the last eight drafts.
  *   Florida has had a first-round pick in 12 of the last 14 years.
  *   UF has now had nine defensive backs selected in the first round since 1970 and five since 2010.
  *   The Gators 18 first-round picks since 2007 is tied for the fourth-most among all schools nationally.
  *   UF has had the fifth-most first-round draft picks (51) among NCAA schools and the second-most in the Southeastern Conference in the Common Draft era (since 1967).
     *   Southern California (71), Ohio State (71), Miami (FL) [60] and Alabama (58) are the four programs in front of Florida.
  *   UF ranks tied for third (LSU) among SEC schools with the most top-10 draft picks (13) in the Common Draft era (since 1967).
     *   Only Alabama (25) and Texas A&M (14) are ahead of Florida.
  *   Overall, UF has had 53 first-round selections in its storied history and has totaled 18 first-round picks since 2007, which is the fourth-most among all schools nationally.
     *   Florida's 53 all-time is the second among SEC programs, trailing only Alabama (64).
  *   At least one Florida player has been selected in every NFL Draft since 1952, the longest streak in SEC history.

SEC Draft Notes:

  *   Six SEC schools had a player drafted in the First Round in 2020.
  *   The SEC has had at least one top-10 draft pick for the 14th consecutive season and for the 28th time in the last 29 NFL Drafts.
  *   Since 2009, Top 10 NFL picks by league: SEC (44); Big 12 (20); ACC (19); Pac-12 (14); B1G (12); MAC (3); Notre Dame (3); AAC (2); BYU (1); MWC (1); FCS (1)
  *   The SEC now has 51 top-10 picks since 2007.
 

 
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