Daiyan Henley continues to impress at WSU Pro Day

The likely second-day pick does well at Pro Day



Daiyan Henley speaking to the media after WSU’s Pro Day, March 28, 2023 at the WSU Pro Day, March 28, 2023

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

Daiyan Henley is counting down the days until the NFL draft.

“[Scouts are saying] Stay focused on what you have to do take everything day by day and not to think too much about that draft day, even though I know exactly when it’s coming. Only less than a day less than a month out,” Henley said.

Henley keeps proving to teams why they should take him in the second round. The most highly touted prospect coming out of WSU since Andre Dillard, who went in the first round during the 2019 draft.

Daiyan Henley getting warmed up for WSU’s Pro Day 2023 in the indoor practice facility, March 28.

23 NFL scouts were in attendance for his performance.

Henley was measured at 6 feet and weighed in at 230 pounds. This height and weight will be a knock on Henley, as he will be viewed as undersized at the linebacker position in the NFL.

He did enough to muffle those complaints, putting up 19 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day. The 19 reps would have done enough to tie him for seventh among all linebackers at the combine.

Henley also showed how freakishly athletic he is, with his vertical reaching 37 ½ inches. This is 2 ½ inches more than the 35 he put up at the combine, which still puts him sixth in combine rankings.

The former wide receiver and defensive back turned linebacker jumped a 10-foot-and-4-inch broad jump, putting him at just 1 inch less than the 10-5 at the combine— once again, ranking as one of the highest among linebackers.

The 2023 linebackers class is fast, really fast, so do not see Henley’s ranking among combine testers in the 40-yard dash and think it is slow. Linebackers that run a 4.39, like Auburn’s Owen Pappoe, should not be possible.

Henley chose not to run at his pro day and let teams see his 4.54 from the combine, which still ranks tenth among his class.

Henley said that he was able to showcase his talent this offseason and prove to teams he is a fully capable linebacker. He has been satisfied with how it has turned out.

“Being able to be the vocal leader to be placed as a MIKE and have the microphone in my helmet and be able to communicate for the defense in the Senior Bowl was big for me. To show that I can do that, have that aspect of my game. And then to go to the combine and put up those numbers that I did. That was as planned,” Henley said.

There was a moment in this pro day in which everyone stepped to the sides, put some bags in the middle and let Henley show off his skills with a single coach. Henley was quick, shuffling through the bags with ease. He did some positional drills as well, which showed off his quick feet and smooth hips which are important to make a good linebacker.

Daiyan Henley catches a ball during positional drills at the WSU 2023 Pro Day, March 28.

Henley said he is proud to be a Coug and the atmosphere in Pullman is unmatched. He is glad to come back and do his Pro Day with WSU.

“For me to be in a place like Pullman, to feel this atmosphere, only a Coug knows what this feels like. And if you’re not a Coug and know what this feels like, well good for you. But being a Coug makes it all that much better,” Henley said. “This is home for me. This is my atmosphere. This is where I thrive. This is where my best season as a linebacker has happened. So when it’s time for me to go to the league, I’m representing the Cougs.”