Running Backs tend to decline at age 27-28, with progression up until that age, as data shows:
Running backs produce best from age 23-27 with improvement in 56% of all eligible running backs in that age range year to year. The running backs over 27 only show 38% improvement from year to year and that declines every year thereafter.
Only 10% of Running backs over age 27 perform better than running back 24-25 and the number only gets worse from there.
There are a few variables that come into play, injuries, changing teams, changing coaches, losing offensive linemen, etc, but the data is pretty concrete in the fact that 27 is the top of the mountain for most runners.
That being said, King Henry at age 28 and weighing much more than his NFL weight listed at 247, which was his combine weight, and coming off a bone fracture in his foot, is about to be dethroned this season. Henry is still big enough to break tackles and big runs, but we saw D’Onta Foreman (now a Panther) run for big gains and perform well in his absence. Henry is a pass blocking liability and always has been, this is the reason he was benched in his sophomore season in favor of Dion Lewis; and Henry is not the best pass catching back in his division, let alone the AFC.
I predict Jonathon Taylor will lead the NFL in rush yards in 2022 again, and we will see Derrick Henry slow down and possibly miss games this year as his body starts telling him it can’t perform the same way it once did.