Jacksonville Jaguars: Could CJ Henderson fetch a first-round pick?

C.J. Henderson #23 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
C.J. Henderson #23 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Multiple NFL executives believe that C.J. Henderson could be available via trade. The ninth overall pick in 2020’s draft pick was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list in late July and missed several days of training camp. When asked if Henderson could make up all the lost time, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said he didn’t know. On the bright side, the cornerback showed up to Tuesday’s practice wearing full pads like the rest of the team, per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.

It’s possible the Jacksonville Jaguars just want to show other teams that Henderson is a full go. Or maybe they do plan to keep him, it’s hard to tell. As of this writing, the Jags haven’t publicly discussed their plan for the Florida product. They may or may not trade him but if they do, is there a chance they can fetch a first-round selection for him? Alex Kay of Bleacher Report seems to think so.

Kay recently put together a list of potential trade ideas for Henderson, and most of them involved a first-round pick. For example, he sees the Dallas Cowboys getting the cornerback in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick and tight end Dalton Schultz. In another package, the New Orleans Saints would get Henderson and the Jaguars would receive two draft selections in 2022, one in the first round and one in the third.

The only trade scenario in which a team doesn’t part ways with a first-round is one where the Arizona Cardinals get the Florida product and the Jaguars get EDGE rusher Chandler Jones and a second-round selection in 2022. Are these realistic proposals? Or are they over the top?

What can the Jacksonville Jaguars realistically get for CJ Henderson?

Henderson certainly has trade value. He showed promise in his rookie campaign before he was placed on the Injury/Reserve list with a groin injury. Also, former first-round picks get several chances to live up to their draft billing and coaches are always looking for reclamation projects, they want to be the ones who were able to untap their potential.

A few seasons ago, the Miami Dolphins got a first-round selection in exchange for cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. The 11th overall pick in 2018’s draft showed flashes in his rookie year and was having a solid sophomore campaign in Miami. Nevertheless, he didn’t fit in the Phins’ vision and instead of forcing him to fit in, they sent him to Steel City.

Fitzpatrick went on to become an All-Pro cornerback for the Steelers and the Dolphins got a first-round selection, so the trade represented a win for both clubs. This could lead the Jaguars to ask for premium compensation for Henderson. However, a second- or a third-round pick may be more realistic. Moreover, a player like Chandler Jones may be out of the question.

It’s true that Henderson displayed flashes in his rookie campaign but he has also had to endure several setbacks. Besides landing on the COVID-19 list, he also underwent labrum surgery earlier this year. This doesn’t mean he’s injury prone but this could be discussed in any potential trade talks. In the end, there’s only one way to really find out what the Jacksonville Jaguars would want in exchange for the cornerback. Give them a call and ask them what they want to get a trade done.

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