Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry proved last season that he’s one of the hardest running tailbacks in the NFL.
But does that mean he’s one of the best?
According to NFL.com, not exactly.
Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew recently ranked all the starting running backs in the NFL and Henry came in at No. 15.
Here’s what Jones-Drew had to say about Henry.
Henry Transformed from a caterpillar early in the 2018 season to a butterfly by Week 17. He went from averaging 10.7 carries per game through 12 contests to averaging 21.8 carries and establishing himself as one of the biggest threats in the final quarter of the season. Henry averaged 146.3 rushing yards per game down the stretch. If the Titans are going to return to the postseason, they’ll have to lean on Henry throughout the season — not only when it gets cold outside.
I think this is a very fair ranking for Henry.
The former Alabama standout showed that he’s capable of being one of the top running backs in the league with his performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars last December.
But Henry also had some games in 2019 where he disappeared.
In a loss against the Ravens, Henry only rushed for 21 yards. In another loss, against the Texans, Henry rushed for just 30 yards.
There’s no doubt that offensive game planning had a lot to do with Henry’s disappearance in those games. But If he’s is going to be an elite running back, he can’t have those types of games in his game log. Henry has to be a player the Titans can’t afford to keep off the field.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith uses Henry in 2019. It will also be interesting to see if Henry can elevate his game and become a top ten running back in the league.
He’s not that far away from being one.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports