The Las Vegas Raiders escaped Week 1 with a victory after a hard-fought battle featuring many of their rookies. There’s work to be done but can some of them bounce back in Week 2?
After a long offseason in which the Raiders’ rookie draft class was analyzed ad nauseam, the youngsters finally got to show off their talents. No rookie shined brighter than wide receiver Henry Ruggs III as he was able to show why his speed made him the Raiders’ first pick in 2020. On the other hand, the Raiders’ other first-round choice, cornerback Damon Arnette, got a rougher welcome to the NFL.
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What Can Raiders Look Forward to from Ruggs and Co?
Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently spotlighted how the NFL’s current rookies might fare in Week 2. For Ruggs, his speed will once again be needed but the wide receiver will be facing a different level of competition against the New Orleans Saints.
“The Raiders are another team that is relying on rookies early on at valuable positions. Henry Ruggs III’s speed immediately added an element to the Raiders offense that they did not have last year. He was targeted three times on deep balls, hauling in one for 45 yards and nearly toe-tapping another. This Saints defense will be a little different animal from what the Panthers were throwing out there, though.”
Speaking of wide receivers, the other rookie pass-catcher for the Raiders, Bryan Edwards had a quiet debut. As PFF pointed out, he was only targeted once all game. By no means are they saying Edwards was a slouch, he more than made up for it with his blocking throughout the game. Arnette on the defensive side had a decent outing against the Panthers, as gave up 110 yards, with 75 of those coming off a touchdown he allowed by Robby Anderson.
“With no Michael Thomas this week, Arnette should actually have an easier task than the one he had against the Panthers. He just needs to take advantage of it.”
Renner points out that not all is bleak for Arnette in Week 2 despite giving up that touchdown. This is mostly due to the fact that the Saints will be without their wideout, Michael Thomas. Raider Nation should look forward to Arnette roaming all over the field on Monday Night and bouncing back.
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*Top Photo: John Locher/Associated Press