The Las Vegas Raiders needed speed to open up their offense so they drafted Henry Ruggs III back in April. Raider Nation will witness a speedy matchup on Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers.
While there will be many key matchups on Sunday, the one between Ruggs and Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson. In fact, Pro Football Focus recently spotlighted Ruggs and Donte Jackson as one of the battles to keep an eye on during the NFL’s opening week.
You want speed? You get exactly that with Henry Ruggs III vs Donte Jackson.https://t.co/Qux5IwsTi9
â€” PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) September 9, 2020
The matchup between Ruggs and Jackson will truly be a battle of speedsters at their respective positions. It will be a true test for the rookie, Ruggs, right out of the gate with fans eagerly waiting to see his speed. Will the often mentioned speed everyone talks about be on display versus the Panthers?
Related: Nothing Personal About Raiders Trading Away Lynn Bowden Jr.
Raiders Are Hoping Speed Will Kill on Sunday
Jackson’s speed is no joke and it is to not be taken lightly by any measure. As PFF points out, Jackson ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash and is one of the fastest players in the NFL. Asking Jackson to go against Ruggs in his debut may be a lot, but the first-round pick will be relied heavily on out of the gate. No doubt Raiders quarterback will be looking Ruggs’ way, especially after the loss of wide receiver Tyrell Williams during training camp.
“Jackson is now the Panthers’ top option at cornerback after the Giants signed James Bradberry in free agency, and he also happens to be one of the fastest players in the league â€” running a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL combine and finishing second in the 40 Yards of Gold Tournament to Marquise Goodwin. That speed didn’t prevent Jackson from giving up the big play in 2019, however, as he allowed 16.9 yards per reception (fifth-highest mark among cornerbacks with 30-plus receptions allowed).”
Even if Ruggs doesn’t end up with many receptions or touchdowns, having Jackson be responsible for him might lead to some opportunities. In particular, it could end up benefitting other Raiders receivers to have one of the fastest cornerbacks preoccupied with Ruggs on Sunday.
You May Also Like: Raiders Will Have Favorable Matchup in Week 1 Versus Panthers
*Top Photo: John Locher/Associated Press