Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was having a noticeable impact on offense before injuries halted his progress.
Ruggs was drafted early in the first round for his eye-popping speed and we can now see why. The former Alabama star was helping to spread the offense as he stretched defenses. In effect, this led to more opportunities for his teammates. Tight Darren Waller and running back Josh Jacobs saw big numbers in the passing game early due to this. Even if Ruggs’ individual numbers were not noteworthy, his impact was going beyond his own receptions.
Unfortunately, he missed Week 3 and the offense was much less potent without ’11’. Even more discouraging will be the fact that Ruggs will most likely miss more time. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that Ruggs is a “long shot” for Sunday’s crucial matchup with Buffalo.
Meanwhile, #Raiders rookie WR Henry Ruggs III is considered a long-shot to play Sunday while still dealing with a hamstring injury, source said. The 1st-round pick shouldn’t have an extended absence, but especially with speed guys, you’d like to get as close to 100% as possible. https://t.co/8wFJ58fIAb
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 30, 2020
How Did PFF Rank The Raiders Rookie?
Due to the missed time and injuries, it’s no surprise that Pro Football Focus wasn’t too kind to the rookie. Sam Monson recently ranked all 32 first-round picks after three weeks, Ruggs received a 57.2 grade.
“…we have seen the kind of impact Ruggs can make on both the opposing defense and the Raiders’ offense over the first two weeks. He has caught four of the eight passes sent his way for 59 yards this season, and his speed is a visible threat to defenses on every play.”
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden would love to have his rookie back in the lineup but Ruggs can’t be rushed back. PFF grades aside, the Raiders have to play it safe with their first-round selection here early in the year. We know the offenses misses him but the other veteran receivers have to step up now in the meantime.
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*Top Photo: AP Photo/John Locher Pool