Derrick Henry is, and always has been, a large human being.
Even back in his days at Yulee High School in Northeast Florida, Henry was listed at 6’3, 240 pounds. He used that huge size mismatch to score an absurd 153 touchdowns (55 in his senior year alone) with a national-record 12,124 rushing yards in four seasons at Yulee.
Henry found success in the college ranks too, winning a Heisman Trophy at Alabama. And now he’s running over folks in the NFL. Henry won the league rushing title in 2019 with 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also just became the first player ever with 180 rushing yards in three consecutive games. Henry is smashmouth football personified.
It’s not just his size causing opponents problems. Henry is surprisingly explosive for a player of his stature. In the last three seasons, he’s scored seven touchdowns of more than 65 yards — five rushing and two receiving. That’s tied with Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, a 185-pound speedster, for the NFL lead over that span. No other player has more than five.
Keep that kind of home-run hitting speed in mind when you look at these photos of Henry next to other NFL running backs.
Mark Ingram, 2016 and 2020
Perhaps the most famous of the “wow, Henry makes that guy look teeny” is this photo from the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. Ingram — winner of the 2009 Heisman Trophy — looked tiny next to 2015 Heisman winner Henry during the coin toss.
Mark Ingram next to Derrick Henry before title game last night pic.twitter.com/zlcn74E8U9— Mike Golic (@espngolic) January 12, 2016
While the angle doesn’t do Ingram any favors, he’s 5’9. Henry has a half foot and more than 30 pounds on his fellow Alabama alum.
The two met up again in 2020 after the Titans beat the Ravens in the Divisional Round and, yep, Henry’s still a giant compared to Ingram.
Eddie Lacy, 2016
Once upon a time, Lacy was the NFL’s preeminent large running back. While he didn’t win a Heisman Trophy at Alabama, he won three BCS Championships and was a second-round NFL Draft pick by Green Bay.
Lacy weighed 231 pounds at the NFL Combine, but weight issues plagued much of his professional career. When he signed a contract with the Seahawks in 2017, part of his contract stipulated that he weigh no more than 250 pounds.
A byproduct of his battle to slim down in 2016 — his final year with the Packers — was this photo with Henry:
Dion Lewis, 2018
Tennessee probably made a mistake by giving Lewis a four-year, $19.8 million deal in free agency in 2018. The former Patriots running back has scored just three touchdowns in 34 total games with the Titans.
What he has provided, however, is a great photo complement to Henry.
Lewis is only 5’8, but he’s solidly built at 195 pounds. Still, in two years as Henry’s teammate, he’s been in several photos that make you ask yourself, “Henry’s gotta be jumping in that picture, right?”
Alas, the Henry-Lewis tandem will probably split up during the 2020 offseason. The Titans can save over $4 million in cap space by parting with Lewis after the season ends. That’s an easy decision to make, considering Lewis was on the field for a total of 18 snaps in the Titans’ playoff wins over the Patriots and Ravens.
Henry’s set to be a free agent in the offseason, but it seems unlikely that the Titans will allow him to hit the open market — especially after he bulldozed them straight into the AFC Championship.
Hopefully, the Titans can find another diminutive running back to make Henry look like The Hulk.
Khalfani Muhammad, 2017
Muhammad was almost that running back for the Titans, but the 2017 seventh-round pick was released by the team in 2018. He’s with the Broncos now, though he still hasn’t played in a regular season game.
Thankfully, he did appear in this photo with Henry before his stint with the Titans ended.
Muhammad is just 5’7, 174 pounds, so most NFL players make him look little. Henry more so than others.
Jalston Fowler, 2016 and 2013
Fullbacks generally aren’t supposed to look petite. They’re bowling balls that clear the way for running backs by ramming into linebackers.
Fowler is 5’11, 261 pounds — which would make him a beefy fullback compared to most running backs. Not Henry, though.
Fowler used to block for Henry at Alabama prior to their reunion with the Titans, and he appeared small by comparison then too.
Fred Taylor, 2012
Taylor retired in 2011, five years before Henry was drafted by the Titans. The longtime Jaguars running back wasn’t a slight back by any stretch, measuring in at 6’1, 228 pounds.
So that’s what makes a photo of a high school-aged Henry meeting with Taylor that much more remarkable.
Fred Taylor congratulating Derrick Henry on his performance. pic.twitter.com/pNs5fq87— Derek Tyson (@DerekJTyson) September 29, 2012
Henry is 18 in that photo and Taylor is 36.
A’Shawn Robinson, 2016
Perhaps it’s good to have a reminder that Henry is, in fact, human. Here he is sitting next to his former Alabama teammate A’Shawn Robinson (who’s definitely not a running back) at a press conference in January 2016.
Then you see Henry sitting next to A’Shawn Robinson. pic.twitter.com/poOk5H8P5z— hAppy friCkin nEw year (@billpresson) January 5, 2020
Robinson is supposedly 20 years old that photo, although it’s possible he was born at age 37. He’s now a defensive tackle for the Lions, and we thank him for providing proof that Henry can be made to seem by someone.