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Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

49ers pre-draft virtual meeting: Clemson DE K.J. Henry

Apr 26, 2023 at 8:46 AM--

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According to Matt Barrows of The Athletic, the San Francisco 49ers recently held a virtual meeting with Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry. projects the defender to be a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick. San Francisco doesn't own a fourth-round selection but holds three in the fifth round. Although, Barrows believes Henry could go as early as the third round, where the Niners own three of the last four selections.

Henry registered 51 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, six passes defensed, and a forced fumble through 14 game appearances as a senior in 2022, per Sports Reference, earning a second-team All-ACC selection. He has accumulated 13 sacks to go with his 124 tackles and 28 tackles for a loss over his collegiate career.

"Highly athletic edge defender with good size," Lance Zierlein wrote within the player's scouting report, comparing Henry to Lorenzo Carter. "Henry has upfield burst, but he tends to be a face-up rusher and will need to improve his hand usage for more effective corner turns. He can be dynamic when twisting and blitzing as a moveable piece around the defensive front and he does a nice job of setting up a buttery smooth inside rush that is often too quick for tackles. He can dart and disrupt as a one-gapper with his hand in the ground but has more trouble than expected in setting firm edges as a run defender. Henry's strengths and weaknesses are well-defined, with the upside to become a starter."

Henry is from Winston-Salem, NC. He earned a pre-draft grade of 6.17 from, which equates to a "good backup with potential to become a starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 6' 4 1/4" and 251-pound Henry had a 40-time of 4.63 seconds, a vertical jump of 31.5 inches, and a broad jump of 112 inches. His other measurables include an arm length of 33 inches and hands measuring 10 inches.

At his school Pro Day, Henry had a 40-time of 4.84 seconds, a vertical jump of 31.20 inches, and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.38 seconds, per NFLDraftBuzz.

College Statistics
Year School Class G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk
2018 Clemson FR 2 5 1 6 2 0
2019 Clemson FR 11 6 17 23 4.5 2
2020 Clemson SO 10 12 11 23 6 3.5
2021 Clemson JR 11 14 7 21 6.5 4
2022 Clemson SR 14 26 25 51 9 3.5
Total Clemson 63 61 124 28 13


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