Matt Henningsen

Matt Henningsen

  • IDL Badgers
  • Graduate
  • #--
  • 6'3"
  • 289lbs
  • Prospect
  • Big Ten

Top Traits

Run Defending

Run Defending

Matt Henningsen

Henningsen holds up at the POA with great core and lower-body strength. Attacks OL with strong punches to create separation and surge. Uses his length to reach and make contact with the ball-carrier while engaged in blocks. 



Matt Henningsen

His effort and motor are always running hot. He is a relentless defender that fights through single and duo blocks. He will chase plays from the backside of the play. 

Core/Functional Strength

Core/Functional Strength

Matt Henningsen

One of his best and most effective traits. Henningsen possesses a powerful core to maintain balance against duo blocks. Absorbs contact but remains to work through it. Powerful lower body to hold his ground in the run game and drive blockers off the ball. 

Prospect Summary

Wisconsin defensive lineman Matt Henningsen projects best as a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense. He was a leader on the Badgers defense. He led the Badgers’ defensive line in tackles and sacks this season. Henningsen holds up well against the run as a gap-penetrator. He understands pad level and leverage. Incredible core strength and contact balance to take on double teams and maintain his gap integrity. As a pass rusher, he generates enough power and push to collapse the pocket. If he cannot get to the quarterback, his rush stops to read the quarterback and play for the batted pass. He is not a twitchy or explosive athlete with tremendous bend around the edges. He offers flexibility to kick inside on passing downs as a 3-technique and collapse the interior pocket.

Ideal Role: Rotational 3-4 DE, gap-penetrator, starter potential

Scheme Fit: 3-4 defense, 4i and 5-technique against heavy running teams


Written by Damian Parson

Games watched: Michigan (2021), Purdue (2021), Notre Dame (2021)

First Step Explosiveness: Lacks twitch and an explosive get-off at the snap. In my experience watching Henningsen, he generates enough lower-body power to create a push without a quick-step. He can be seen late off the ball if he does not anticipate the snap count.

Flexibility: Henningsen’s flexibility shows the level of comfort using different stances on the line. He has a low, squatty stance when he is head up to the OT.

Hand Counters: This area needs expanding heading into the NFL. Henningsen uses repetitive moves to deconstruct blocks—a combination of single/double arm bull rushes. He attempts to utilize a quick swipe of the hand but the timing has been the issue.

Hand Power: His hand power is evident when his hands land on OL’s chest plates. He is a heavy-handed puncher that generates good knock-back power on contact. Drives OL into the backfield before disengaging and locating the football.

Run Defending: See Above.

Effort(Motor): See Above.

Football IQ: His football intelligence shows up against the run and pass. He understands how to leverage OL to create advantageous paths to the football. When rushing the passer, if he cannot reach the QB, he stops his rush and plays for the tipped pass.

Lateral Mobility: Henningsen is comfortable moving side to side along the DL. Against zone runs or perimeter toss sweeps, he can shuffle or cross-step while maintaining his balance. Remains square as he works laterally down the LOS.

Core/Functional Strength: See Above.

Versatility: Henningsen offers alignment versatility for an NFL defense. He can work as a 5-technique in the 3-4 and a 3-technique in a 4-3 defensive front.


TDN Consensus: 72.67/100 (Fourth Round Value)

Crabbs Grade: 72.50/100

Marino Grade: 71.50/100

Parson Grade: 74.00/100