How LaDarius Henderson fits with the Houston Texans

With the 249th pick in the NFL draft, the Houston Texans selected offensive tackle LaDarius Henderson.

Henderson started 10 games at left tackle for Michigan in 2023 and was voted first-team All-Big Ten. Prior to transferring to Michigan, Henderson played four years at Arizona State, with which he made 10 starts at left tackle and 19 starts at left guard.

The most interesting part about the Henderson selection was he was announced as a tackle. Though he technically has more college experience at tackle than guard, I projected him to the NFL as a better interior blocker than exterior. Henderson plays with solid pad level and has naturally long arms, but he might struggle with power in the NFL and gave up pressures around the edge last season. Houston recently paid its left tackle, Leremy Tunsil, a hefty chunk of change, so he will not be going anywhere. While Henderson was selected as a tackle, I still think he will kick back inside at some point.

Projecting Henderson to start soon is tough. I honestly think he is a solid prospect, but Houston has a strong offensive line, and Henderson is not the type of athlete who can step on the field and automatically compete. Injuries are always a possibility in the NFL, but Henderson winning the job outright over Tytus Howard, Shaq Mason or the current backups is low.

The funny part about the pick, and the nature of the NFL draft, is Henderson will be blocking for former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud, who went 0-2 against Michigan in college, never played against Henderson directly, but he likely still feels the burn of the rivalry. Maybe Henderson and fellow former Wolverine Nico Collins make a bet with Stroud and Cade Stover on the result of this year’s Michigan vs. Ohio State game. Strictly friendly, of course.

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