Skip to main content
Presented by

Late for Work: Derrick Henry Is No. 2 in PFF's Running Back Rankings

RB Derrick Henry
RB Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry Is No. 2 in PFF's Running Back Rankings

One of the first questions Derrick Henry was asked at his introductory press conference a couple months ago was how much he has left in the tank because some people think his best days are behind him.

"Tell them to keep watching," Henry quipped.

Pro Football Focus’ Thomas Valentine doesn't need convincing. In his running back rankings heading into the 2024 season, Valentine put Henry at No. 2, second only to San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey.

"Henry rushed for 1,167 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on a 4.2 yards per carry clip in 2023, earning a 90.1 grade — the third highest among NFL running backs," Valentine wrote. "Age and a lack of production in the passing game hold Henry back, but he's staved off Father Time longer than most running backs could only dream of. The Henry-Lamar Jackson pairing in 2024 should keep defenses awake at night."

Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken said last week that the 30-year-old Henry can still be a bell cow.

"Well, I know this: If [Henry] carries it 300 times, we're having a hell of a year. I can tell you that," Monken said. "It means we're running it a lot. It means we're up in games. We want him to finish, [and] we want him to be the closer. First and foremost, like every player, we want him to make it through the season. It's a long season – 17 games. You've got a bye week in there, and then you go from there. So, we'll see how that goes. I mean, he's been so durable."

Regarding Henry's production as a receiver, the four-time Pro Bowler did become more prolific the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans. After not having reached 20 catches in his previous six seasons, Henry had 33 catches for 398 yards in 2022 and 28 catches for 214 yards in 2023.

Henry flashed his receiving skills during OTAs last week.

"He's a really versatile player, not only running the ball but getting the ball in space and throwing him the ball and getting him out on the perimeter and see if some of your defensive backs can tackle him," Monken said.

Mark Andrews Is Poised for a 'Monster 2024'

Pro Football Focus’ Bradley Locker believes tight end Mark Andrews is poised for a bounce-back year after an injury-hampered 2023 season.

"Andrews has been one of the NFL's best tight ends year in and year out, but a fractured fibula caused him to play in just 10 games last year," Locker wrote. "The result? His fewest receiving yards in a season in his career.

"Other tight ends like Sam LaPorta gained traction with Andrews out. But with the 28-year-old getting a clean bill of health, expect Andrews to reclaim his post as maybe the NFL's best at his position with a monster 2024."

Andrews is just two years removed from being named a first-team All-Pro, when he had 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns.

Zay Flowers, Nelson Agholor Score High in WR Advanced Metrics

The Ravens' wide receiver corps does not get a lot of respect from pundits, but a deep dive into the advanced metrics by The Athletic's Larry Holder revealed the unit is more efficient than given credit for.

For receivers with 75-plus targets, Zay Flowers ranked 17th out of 59 in catchable pass percentage (85.6) and ninth in reception percentage (71.3 percent). For receivers with 40-74 targets, Nelson Agholor ranked third out of 35 in catchable percentage (92.1) and reception percentage (77.9 percent).

"What's not to like about the catchable pass and reception percentages for Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor?" Holder wrote. "Those numbers display what I've highlighted throughout Lamar Jackson's 2023 MVP season: He's become a more accurate passer than maybe ever before.

"Now, would you like those EPA-per-reception rates to be higher, given how well they catch the ball? No question. Part of that comes with tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely combining for 11 touchdowns. Gus Edwards also tallied 13 rushing TDs to go along with Jackson's 821 rushing yards and five scores."

Keaton Mitchell Named Ravens' Most Underrated Player

The shot in the arm Keaton Mitchell gave the Ravens in his injury-shortened rookie season is undeniable, which is why Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar named the speedy running back Baltimore's most underrated player.

"It seems counter-intuitive to say this about an undrafted rookie running back from East Carolina, but had Keaton Mitchell not suffered a torn ACL last December, the Ravens' postseason might have gone differently, and in a more favorable fashion," Farrar wrote. "We all remember Baltimore's inexplicable decision to give their running backs just six carries in the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs' vulnerable run defense, but had Mitchell been good to go, I doubt Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken would have taken the same tack.

"Because when you have a back who averages 8.4 yards per carry, forces 15 missed tackles, and has seven runs of 15+ yards on just 47 carries, that's a guy you want to deploy in the most important moments. The addition of Derrick Henry in free agency should give the Ravens a highly interesting one-two punch when Mitchell is able to return from his recovery."

Related Content