Make no mistake about it folks, the Las Vegas Raiders drafted wide receiver Henry Ruggs III for his speed. All the same, upon closer examination, it seems the Silver and Black landed a truly reliable target.
The 2020 NFL season was anticipated for many reasons as far as the Raiders were concerned. If being the inaugural season in Las Vegas wasn’t enough, there’s mounting pressure in head coach Jon Gruden’s third year. The key in all this was getting quarterback Derek Carr as much help as humanly possible. Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock did exactly just that this offseason, especially via the NFL Draft. Management picked up all-world talent, Lynn Bowden Jr. and a physical specimen at wide receiver in Bryan Edwards. Nonetheless, it’s Ruggs who headlines this loot, and his speed should open up Gruden’s offense.
Ruggs Will Mean More Than Speed For Raiders Offense
While Ruggs’ aforementioned speed usually gets a lot of the attention, the former Alabama wideout is much more than that. Pro Football Focus recently pointed out that in college, Ruggs only had three drops in 123 targets the last two seasons.
Henry Ruggs III over the past two seasons:
3 Drops pic.twitter.com/NflaiDeKLQ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 19, 2020
It’s obvious that while Ruggs might’ve not been the traditional number one receiver at Alabama, he made the most of his opportunities. Edwards, the other rookie wide receiver, struggled with drops despite the fanfare he’s receiving. Bob Rose of Sports Illustrated pointed this out,” Edwards struggled with easy drops throughout his career at South Carolina, more a result of lapses in concentration than skill.” The former Gamecocks standout isn’t the only Raiders receiver that has struggled with drops in the past. The Silver and Black’s de-facto number one receiver in 2019, Tyrell Williams, dropped five passes on 64 targets. As much attention as Edwards is getting and despite the fact Williams seems to be fully healthy, Ruggs seems poised to be one of the most reliable weapons in the Raiders arsenal this upcoming season.
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*Top Photo: Butch Dill/Associated Press