4th round (#117) – WR Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech (5’11 | 199 | 4.46)
With the loss of Alshon Jeffery, the Bears are a little light at the wide receiver position. On paper, Kevin White and Cam Meredith at least give the Bears two tall receivers on the outside but they don’t have an option in the slot who can make people miss and turn short passes into long gains.
Right now, free agent Kendall Wright and oft-injured Eddie Royal are the Bears top slot receivers but Wright is coming off a disappointing season and Royal hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Henderson could give the Bears a dangerous slot option as well as an explosive kick returner.
One of the most productive receivers in college football last season, Henderson finished ninth in the nation in receiving yards with 1,406 and second in touchdowns with 17. He also finished fourth in the FBS in kick return average (30.4, 2 TDs) among qualified returners. Henderson capped off his season with first-team Conference USA honors as both a receiver and kick returner.
In a season full of impressive performances, his best may have been against UMass when he had 12 catches for 326 yards and five touchdowns(!). Henderson is only the 10th FBS player ever to score five receiving touchdowns in one game.
He may undersized, but Henderson plays much bigger with a physical style and a surprisingly powerful stiff-arm. His quick-twitch moves make Henderson a challenge to cover at the line of scrimmage and even harder to corral when he has the ball in space (career 20.1 ypc). Henderson also has shown reliable hands and the strength to make contested catches.
I have Henderson graded as a late second / early third-round pick, but most mocks have him going over a round later. If he’s available in the fourth, Henderson could be a steal for the Bears.