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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michigan DL Willie Henry

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are looking for more tackle at the defensive tackle position, as evidenced with the free agent visit by Nick Fairley. The Patriots lost Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears in free agency and there is a need for the Patriots to draft a talented player at the position. The good news for the Patriots, that's where this year's draft has the most talent and depth. One example being Michigan DT Willie Henry, who could be available for the Patriots on Day 2.

Combine #s:

HT WT Arm 10 40 Vertical Broad Jump 5-10-5 Shuttle 3-Cone
6'2 3/4" 303 33 3/8" 1.75 5.00 30.5" 9'2" 4.53 7.57

Henry is a great one-gapping tackle that creates havoc in the backfield, but struggle against double teams. He has the versatility to rush inside and outside, which could create opportunities for T-E stunts with Jabaal Sheard or Chris Long coming from the edge. At 303 pounds, the athletic numbers across the board are fantastic. He'll be 21 going into the draft, so age is not an issue for the Patriots. On his Pro Day, the Patriots went to Michigan to work him out and could be an option for the team at either 60 or 61.

Henry is very versatile with the ability to play inside and on the edge at times, which means he can be effective in a 3-4 defense, even though the Patriots don't run that anymore. He'd be a 3-technique defensive tackle in the Patriots defense and part of the rotation. With Malcom Brown, Dominique Easley, and Alan Branch in front of him there's no pressure for Henry to have to be ready in Year 1 and he can develop at his own pace in 2016. However, I do think he'll start pushing Branch out of the rotation by the end of 2016 and take over the 2nd DT spot.