The Las Vegas Raiders have placed a variety of new skill players around their starting quarterback ahead of the 2020 season. As many have expected, first-round draft selection Henry Ruggs has impressed in training camp. However, there is another player who could end up becoming quarterback Derek Carr’s go-to target in 2020.
Shades of Fresno State?
Carr is feeling optimistic about his new rookie wide receivers. In addition, he stated in a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that Henry Ruggs III is incredible, but Bryan Edwards’ playing style is similar to a collegiate colleague.
Las Vegas QB Derek Carr talks about his two rookie WR's, Henry Ruggs & Bryan Edwards and why this offense can be "special" in 2020.. #Raiders
👇 Watch 👇 pic.twitter.com/MyOlXqg6r7
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 18, 2020
Just how successful were Davante Adams and Derek Carr at Fresno State? Together, the duo combined for 3,030 yards and 38 touchdowns in just two seasons. Take note of how precise and frequently the back shoulder fade was incorporated in the Bulldogs offense below.
“He’s very violent and aggressive in his cuts, in and out of his cuts. He reminds me of, when the ball is in the air, of Davante (Adams). Great ball skills. Davante is someone where there’s just a trust. I could throw it up, 1-on-1 and them 50/50 balls were 98/2 for us — and the two meaning something fluke happened like his shoe came off. Our goal line offense at Fresno State was throw a fade. When (Michael) Crabtree was here, our goal line offense was hand it off or throw a fade to Crab. He (Edwards) reminds me of that kind of guy, someone that not only can use his physicalness in the route, but also when the ball is in the air, some of those catches you watch him run. He runs a double post, he runs a fade against Tennessee, he runs a fade at home at South Carolina.”
Above all, Edwards could very well be the spark that re-ignites the Silver and Black’s passing offense in the red-zone.
Raiders QB Derek Carr Plays Better With Taller Targets
Taking a deeper dive into Derek Carr’s passing career, it is evident that larger receivers and tight ends are his preference in the red-zone.
Moreover, these are some of the touchdown reception leaders in his career:
- No.1 Michael Crabtree – 24
- No.3 Seth Roberts – 13
- No.4 Andre Holmes – 10
- No.5 Jared Cook – 8
- No.6-Tied Mychal Rivera, Tyrell Williams, Clive Walford – 6
- No.10 Foster Moreau – 5
- No.11 Lee Smith – 4
In short, 82 of his 143 touchdown throws (58%) have been to players that are 6’1″ or taller. That is to say, the 6’3″ Bryan Edwards will make for Carr’s second tallest wide receiver target in his career, behind only Andre Holmes (6’4″) in height. The Las Vegas Raiders have added a variety of talented skill players on the offensive side of the ball. In conclusion, the South Carolina native is on a promising track to becoming Derek’s go-to receiver this upcoming season.
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Top Photo: Sean Rayford/Associated Press