The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

THUMMEL: Derrick Henry signs with the Ravens … Baltimore fans rejoice

Is Henry the finishing piece for Baltimore?
Derrick Henry singed with the Baltimore Ravens in March.

As an avid Baltimore Ravens fan, I watched injury after injury occur on the roster in back-to-back years.

My main concern in the offseason was how Baltimore would address the running back depth, as that was the most notably weak position from a fan perspective.

Signing a 247-pound tank might suffice. 

Former Tennesee Titans running back Derrick Henry agreed to a two-year $16 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens, March 12.

Henry spent eight years with the Titans, earning four Pro Bowl selections, one First-Team All-Pro selection and an Offensive Player of the Year selection.

Henry is one of eight running backs in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season, rushing for 2,027 yards in 2020 (the same year Henry won Offensive Player of the Year).

The former Alabama star will join a Baltimore backfield that was riddled with injuries last season, as previous starter J.K. Dobbins suffered a torn Achilles in week one, and backup Keaton Mitchell tore his ACL in week 15.

These injuries left the Ravens with a committee of inexperienced backs, with no reliable number-one option. 

The 30-year-old Henry should provide stability for Baltimore, despite being an older running back.

Henry only has four documented injuries in his eight-year career, all while averaging over 250 carries a season

Henry will share the backfield with Keaton Mitchell, Justice Hill, Owen Wright, and J.K. Dobbins (if Baltimore chooses to resign him).

Henry joining the Ravens is a fantastic move, as he will be running behind the fifth-ranked offensive line in the NFL last season, according to PFF

“I want to be somewhere I’m surrounded by talent, have a great quarterback and great players around as well, so I’m just excited for this opportunity and blessed and thankful to be able to land here,” Henry said in his introductory presser on Thursday

Not only will this be an upgrade for Henry, but it will provide a new big-time rushing threat in the Ravens offense, taking pressure off of reigning MVP Lamar Jackson in the run game. 

Jackson and the Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship in January, falling just short of a trip to the Super Bowl.

Henry’s addition easily addresses any question marks in Baltimore’s backfield heading into next season, so Baltimore should be major championship contenders again. 

Henry is without a doubt the best running back that Jackson has suited up with in his career and with Baltimore’s offensive coordinator Todd Monken, the possibilities are endless. 

In Monken’s first year as the offensive coordinator for the Ravens, Jackson threw for a career-high 3,678 yards and finished with a career-high in attempts as well, with 457.

Throwing Henry into this mix elevates the run game, but Henry should cause even more havoc in the play-action game, as defenses will need to key in on both Henry and Jackson on the ground. 

The idea of read options between Henry and Jackson, coupled with Zay Flowers, Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely as vertical threats, makes the fan in me incredibly excited. 

“This is a [running] back that can do everything, and he can change the game for you, so we’re excited about it, I’m looking forward to it,” Harbaugh said at the presser. 

Me too, coach… me too. 

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.