The Cincinnati Bengals recently met with Wisconsin Badgers defensive tackle Matt Henningsen, a late riser in this year's NFL Draft.
Not getting much buzz following the season, that changed a bit when Henningsen worked out with a 37” vertical jump at his pro day, a number that would’ve been the best mark among defensive tackles at the NFL Combine. He also had a 119” broad jump and a 7.15 three cone.
At 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, those are all elite numbers.
Henningsen has recently had meetings with the Dolphins who only have two picks in the first 200 and most recently with Cincinnati, per Tom Pelissero on Twitter.
“Wisconsin DE Matt Henningsen caught NFL teams’ attention with a 37½-vertical jump at 6-3⅜, 289 pounds at his pro day, and he’s been busy since. The onetime walk-on visited the #Dolphins on Tuesday, is visiting the #Bengals today and had multiple private workouts in recent weeks.”
That athleticism suggests good pass rushing potential, but with only 3.5 sacks his senior season, that does not seem to be the case. He has great potential, but as of now, plays with poor pad level. While he has a high motor, Henningsen has a lot to refine in terms of the technical aspects of his game.
If the Bengals forgo defensive tackle early in the 2022 draft, then Henningsen looks to be a great option on Day 3 or even potentially as an undrafted free agent. For the cost of getting him, he has a lot of upside, and if active, could at the very least rotate in to get some snaps and learn to adjust to the NFL.
Henningsen is exactly the type of prospect the Bengals should be looking for in the draft with an eye towards athleticism and potential. Combine that with his effort and mindset, good coaching should bring out all the potential Henningsen has.