Henry Ruggs III

Raiders Success Might Hinge on WR Henry Ruggs III

The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to build on their 7-9 campaign from last year. A lot of the success the team might have depends on what Henry Ruggs III brings to the table.

While it may not be ideal, Ruggs, a rookie wide receiver, will help dictate what Raiders head coach Jon Gruden does on offense. The team certainly had some bright spots on offense last season. Running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller comes to mind. However, they were limited on what they could do and were for the most part, not very explosive. Although quarterback Derek Carr improved statistically, the offense fell flat once Jacobs’ injuries derailed his rookie campaign and even more so, once defenses zeroed in on Waller.

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What The Raiders Lacked Was Henry Ruggs III

What the Raiders lacked was someone with explosive speed who could stretch out defenses. A speedster could lead to opportunities for everyone on offense. Wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow both showed flashes, hence why both are in the Raiders plans for 2020. As for Ruggs, some fans might’ve questioned the pick, considering the other two big receiver prospects were available in Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb.

Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently highlighted Ruggs’ speed as perhaps, the biggest factor as to why the Raiders picked him.

“While his fellow rookies may end up with more catches, Ruggs’ effect on the Raiders could be more impactful. The electrifying speed he adds can’t be ignored. He will force defenses to rethink how they defend the Raiders.”

The Man With The Plan

It could turn out to be excellent planning by general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden to have gone with Ruggs. They’re both fully aware of the they already had in-house prior to the draft. As Bonsignore pointed out, the aforementioned 2019 bright spots might end up benefiting the most from Ruggs.

“Chances are, that means fewer instances in which teams bring a safety closer to the line of scrimmage to defend running back Josh Jacobs, which will give him more room to run. The attention Ruggs receive also figures to create more room to operate for tight end Darren Waller and wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams.”

Obviously, there’s no way to predict the future, especially in the NFL. It will be even harder to do now with no offseason camps and a shortened preseason. That notwithstanding, if you factor Carr’s growth under Gruden’s system and continued prowess of the Raiders offensive line, Ruggs could be in fact the missing piece.

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*Top Photo: Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

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