Buccaneers’ UDFA Profile: Traveon Henry

Nov 28, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Ke
Nov 28, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Ke /

The Buccaneers brought in 19 players as undrafted free agents for their upcoming rookie mini-camp.  One of whom is Traveon Henry, so we profile him here.

The draft may be over, but that is only the glamorous part of the job that we watch on TV for three days.  The rest of it goes on behind the scenes, and the Buccaneers have been hard at work bringing in players that weren’t drafted, in order to fill out their 90 man roster.  The team recently announced the signing of 19 players, all of whom will be on display this weekend at mini-camp, hoping to earn a spot to remain with the team.

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Undrafted free agents, or UDFA’s, are not without ability.  Damon Harrison, one of the top nose tackles in the NFL, was an undrafted player.  So, we take a look at the list and speculate as to who might have a shot to make an impact on this Bucs’ roster.

Today we take a look at Traveon Henry, safety from Northwestern.

Just like we did with players before the draft, we take a look at Henry’s statistics:

Defense & Fumbles


TacklesDef IntFumbles
*2012NorthwesternBig TenFRDB158230.00.010000
2013NorthwesternBig TenSOS105324774.00.0100.00100
2014NorthwesternBig TenJRS103835732.50.0000000
2015NorthwesternBig TenSRS124826744.01.022010.00410

These numbers show us the type of player that would be suited for the strong safety position at the next level.  Henry reads as a player that likes to come up and play “in the box” to challenge the line of scrimmage.  If he were to turn heads, pairing him with the likes of Bradley McDougald would give McDougald the opportunity to play the ball more, as he is more naturally suited.

Martin Oppegaard of Inside NU had this to say about Henry’s strengths:

"– Experience. He was a three-year starter who also saw action with the first-team since his freshman season, contributing on special teams throughout the entire career.– Tackling ability. Henry is a tough, downhill, run defending safety who totaled 74 tackles last season and broke up four passes. He’s an instinctive, hard hitter that squares and wraps up ball handlers, which may be his best asset. Henry isn’t afraid to go up against offensive lineman and fullbacks to make a play, and he’s a good blitzer for a safety.– Intangibles. Henry was a leader of this team and a vocal presence in the secondary. Teams will love what he brings to the locker room and meeting rooms."

And these are the weaknesses:

"-This one is pretty obvious. Henry’s speed has always been his one flaw. Henry needs to improve on his pure speed because skill players in the NFL are a lot faster than those in the Big Ten.– Ball skills. His ball skills aren’t terrible, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Henry dropped a few interceptions throughout his career and you can’t miss those opportunities at the next level."

Running a 4.7 forty yard dash at his pro day wasn’t great, and could cause trouble for him in the pros, but we all know that straight line speed doesn’t tell the whole story.

As always, we take a look at some videotape:

It’s hard not to like the way this man hits.  When Henry lines you up, he punishes you.  He also doesn’t missed.  I know it’s a highlight video, but that doesn’t change the fact that Henry wraps his man up and takes him down, each and every time.  I disagree with the above regarding his ball skills.  I think his instincts and ball skills are actually very good.  More than one time on that tape he is breaking toward the pass long before it gets there, and from reading the quarterback’s eyes he is on his way before it is released.

Henry needs to get better in his cover skills.  On the tape, he could be seen getting caught between covering his man and watching the quarterback.  He was able to recover in college, but the play will be faster in the pros.  His footwork is also inconsistent.  He has a nice back pedal, but his change of direction is a bit clunky.  He almost was caught backwards once or twice when tracking a receiver.  The hips were a bit stiff as well.  Again, he could recover with the slower college players, but not so much in the NFL.

Next: How Will the Bucs' Defense Look in 2016?

Henry makes his mark on special teams, and that will stick out when Bucs’ staff evaluates him.  His ability to tackle is unquestioned, and I could see this player fighting his way onto the roster.