The Washington Commanders have taken Clemson EDGE defender K.J. Henry with the No. 137 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, giving them another pass-rusher to bolster their defensive front.
Henry (6-foot-4, 294 pounds) was the No. 6 player in the country, according to ESPN, the No.3 defensive end and the No. 2 overall player in North Carolina. A five-year contributor for the Tigers, Henry played in 58 games with 122 tackles, 13.5 sacks and 28 tackles for a loss.
Henry is disruptive, a team captain and uses his speed to blow by offensive tackles and will provide quality depth to the Commanders' defensive line. In addition to his 4.63 40-yard dash, he also recorded a 31.5-inch vertical and a 9-foot-4 broad jump.
"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," wrote NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. "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."
In addition to his performance on the field, Henry is a standout person off the field. He was a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection (2019-21), won the 2021 P.A.W. Journey P.A.T. Man of the Year award and helped donate five figures to create the 1 CLEM5ON endowment in November 2022 to benefit Clemson University's Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center and Clemson Athletics' "Hear Her Roar" campaign.