Ravens' Derrick Henry signing looks even better after PFF running back rankings

Henry ranks among the league's elite once again.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens run the ball as well as any team in the NFL thanks to the exploits of Lamar Jackson, but they haven't had a running back during the last half-decade of excellence that can come close to the pedigree and consistency of former Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry.

Henry was brought in this offseason as an upgrade over Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins, as the possible Hall of Famer's final five seasons with the Titans were so impressive that he is still considered a massive upgrade despite crossing the infamous 30-year-old barrier.

The Ravens invested in Henry thinking he is still one of the best running backs in the league, and Pro Football Focus is subscribing to the notion that he has a ton of gas left in the tank. Their most recent running back rankings had Henry clocking in at No. 2 overall across the league.

The only player ranked ahead of him was San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey, giving Henry the de facto title of best running back in the AFC. Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor, Cleveland's Nick Chubb, and Atlanta's Bijan Robinson rounded out the top five. Edwards ranked 31st overall, for the sake of comparison.

Baltimore Ravens' Derrick Henry ranked No. 2 RB in NFL

The Ravens know Henry likely isn't going to be much of a receiving threat, but the fact Edwards was never particularly impressive in this area suggests that Baltimore can built their offense around that limitation in his game. Henry is still a one-cut power runner.

Henry's lack of great versatility is superseded by excellent speed and an unmatched ability to churn out tough yards between the tackles. Even on a bad Titans team with a terrible offensive line, Henry was still able to pile up yet another 1,000-yard season on the ground.

The Ravens are taking a risk on the offensive line this season, as they are replacing three starters and could lean on two players with a combined zero professional snaps in left guard Andrew Vorhees and right tackle Roger Rosengarten. If they both manage to click, Henry should be in for yet another year of quality production.

The Ravens have always been able to turn average running backs into stars thanks to the threat of Jackson's legs causing havoc for opposing defenses. Adding Henry to the mix will take an elite offense and possibly elevate it to championship levels.

As long as they remember to run the ball in January, that is.