Hand the king his scepter, or hand him the ball 20 to 25 times per game, whichever comes first. As expected, Derrick Henry earns a top-five ranking on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2021 list. That makes him the highest-ranked running back on the player’s ranking and the top-ranked member of the Tennessee Titans.
He lands at number four, and that’s six spots higher than he landed in 2020. He joins teammates Julio Jones (29), A.J. Brown (62), Jeffrey Simmons (78), and Ryan Tannehill (83) as the fifth member of the Titans to be named.
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Here’s a look back and a look at what’s ahead for the Tennessee Titans star.
At this point, it’s become a tad difficult to talk about King Henry without bringing up the accolades. A second-round draft choice in 2016, which is hard to believe now, Derrick took home the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2020 as well as First-team All-Pro honors.
He’s the two-time defending NFL rushing yards leader, the two-time defending NFL rushing touchdowns leader, and he’s earned nods for the last two Pro Bowls.
Titans fans are getting a little spoiled around these parts with all of the great tailbacks they’ve had. Henry makes you think about not only Eddie George and Chris Johnson aka CJ2K, but he also brings back memories of all of those Earl Campbell highlights from many moons ago when this team was still in Houston and calling itself the Oilers.
In 2020, Henry also joined the NFL’s 2,000-yard club. He’s the eighth man in NFL history to do that. O. J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Jamal Lewis, the aforementioned Chris Johnson, and Adrian Peterson are the other seven, and with teammates Julio Jones and A.J. Brown on the outside making it impossible for opposing defenses to load up and sell out against the run, some might argue that with Henry’s talent, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t run for 2,000 yards or more again in 2021.
That would make him the first person in league history to do that and the first person to do it in back-to-back seasons. It’s very doable. Keep in mind the fact that the NFL grind is a 17-game, 18-week season now. It kind of makes the mouth water doesn’t it? Look for big things from Tennessee’s best player in 2021 and a third-consecutive top-ten ranking in 2022.