NFL Analyst Questions Derrick Henry’s Fit With Baltimore Ravens

Derrick Henry, Baltimore Ravens
NFL Analysis Network

The Baltimore Ravens signed running back Derrick Henry in free agency this past March, providing them with a much-needed weapon offensively.

The Ravens’ AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs highlighted that they absolutely need some more talent on the offensive side of the ball in support of Lamar Jackson, and clearly, the front office felt that Henry was an appropriate answer.

However, Greg Cosell of NFL Matchup questions just how Henry will fit in Baltimore’s scheme.

Cosell’s concern with Henry’s fit with the Ravens is that he has historically been an I-back, meaning that he prefers to get his carries with the quarterback under center rather than operating from shotgun.

Cosell notes the issue here is that Baltimore does like to run a lot of its offense from the shotgun, which could have an adverse effect on Henry’s efficiency.

He states that Henry is the type of halfback who needs to get a full head of steam behind him in order to maximize his effectiveness, and that is obviously hard to do when you are taking a handoff from the signal-caller in shotgun rather than getting a running start.

Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken has already said that he envisions Henry getting 300 carries next season, and Cosell mentions here that Baltimore obviously didn’t sign Henry to a two-year deal to just give him eight touches a game.

So, just how will the Ravens deploy Henry in 2024?

It’s certainly an interesting question, and Baltimore will have to be careful in how it goes about utilizing Henry for multiple reasons.

Not only is Henry more effective as an I-back, but he has also led the NFL in carries four of the last five years. He is now 30 years old, and while he did make the Pro Bowl during his final season with the Tennessee Titans, he clearly showed signs of decline, averaging just 4.2 yards per carry in 2023.

The Ravens will have to ensure that they are able to keep Henry fresh for the stretch run and the playoffs, because overusing him early on in the season could end up having dire consequences later on.

Baltimore also has Justice Hill and Keaton Mitchell in its running back room, so Derrick Henry may have to get more accustomed to playing in a committee backfield. That is something he really didn’t do with the Titans.

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