It's hard to find a more exciting and dynamic position in sports, much less in the NFL, than running back. Mixing both athleticism and power, speed and agility, running backs can take football teams to a new level. But who is currently the NFL's best in that position?
Based on a mix of pure production and talent, that honor has to go to Derrick Henry. The Tennessee Titans tailback is both a bruising runner and an athletic ballcarrier, as he is able to bulldoze defenders and break off on long runs.
Henry is coming off one of the best rushing seasons in NFL history. He ran for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns on 278 carries in 2020, becoming just the eighth player in NFL history to notch up 2,000 rushing yards in a single NFL season.
He also broke the Titans' franchise record for most rushing yards in a season. Henry is now the only player in football history to produce a 2,000-yard rushing season in high school, college and the NFL.
Derrick Henry is the cornerstone of Titans coach Mike Vrabel's hard-nosed attack, and no team seems to have an answer to stop him at the moment.
Derrick Henry has been a star in high school, college and NFL
Derrick Henry was born in Yulee, Florida, and played high school football at Yulee High School. He also played basketball and ran track in high school.
At Yulee, Henry established himself as one of the best players in the country, totaling 12,124 career rushing yards. ESPN listed him as the no. 1 'athlete' in the United States, and he committed to play college football at the University of Alabama.
With the Crimson Tide, Derrick Henry fielded one of the best careers for a running back in college football history. During his junior season, he won the Heisman Trophy after running for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns, leading Alabama to a National Championship win over Clemson.
Henry decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Titans with the No. 45 overall pick in the second round.
Derrick Henry began his NFL career as the backup to DeMarco Murra but eventually carved out a starting role and signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Titans in July 2020.
It doesn't look like Derrick Henry is ready to relinquish his feature-back role anytime soon, as he has run for more yards each season he has been in the NFL and only seems to be getting better with every game he plays.