Pass rushers who end a season tied for second in sacks throughout the league are rarely overlooked. Hendrickson, though, has not received sufficient recognition for his outstanding 2020 season. The Florida Atlantic product has been a contributor ever since entering the league in 2017 as a third-round pick. Still, the 4-3 defensive end ramped up his production in 2020 with 25 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, one forced fumble, 12 tackles for loss and 25 quarterback hits.
While he is an above-average linear athlete, the main reason for Hendrickson’s on-field success is his refined set of pass-rush moves that complement or overcome other traits. For example, his side-scissor move plays to his quickness up the arc and his forklift technique mitigates the negative effects of his short arms. What’s more, Hendrickson uses leverage to increase his functional strength and length. His low pad level also enhances his speed to power move against the pass and helps him anchor down against the run. When defending the run, the 26-year-old is disciplined and maintains gap integrity.
His incredible motor only maximizes his other strengths. That said, Hendrickson has certain limitations. First and foremost, he has short arms. This partially negates the effects of his hand usage and hurts him at the tackle point. Moreover, the young defensive end struggles to consistently anchor down at the point of engagement and does not provide much of a push in pass rush when his technique falters. As a high-side rusher, Hendrickson can fail to flatten to the quarterback and work too far upfield as a result of his limited bend. Although his athletic shortcomings are concerning, he wins with technique. Hendrickson is a talented pass rusher and limited run defender who should contribute situationally for any NFL team.