Raiders First Round Haul Continues To Grade Poorly

While the Las Vegas Raiders continue their winning ways, the team’s 2020 first-round duo isn’t impressing Pro Football Focus much these days.

There’s a lot of positives for the Silver and Black lately, such as their impressive running game and their defense showing improvement. All of this development takes time as most people are aware of, NFL rookies are no exception. In the case of the Raiders, they have two first-round selections that haven’t had as much of an impact as some would like.

Keep in mind there have been several factors that could have affected their rookie seasons. First off, the global COVID-19 pandemic altered how they prepared for their first NFL season. Injuries and the disease itself have taken playing time away from cornerback Damon Arnette. On the other hand, Henry Ruggs III was injured early on and is yet to find his place within the offense.

Despite these early struggles, it’s too early to call either player a bust. Rather, we are pointing out a cause for concern when you consider how good other rookies are faring already. Pro Football Focus seems to agree with this assessment as well. They recently gave Ruggs at 57.6 overall grade and 59.6 to Arnette.

Related: Las Vegas WR Corps Took Backseat In Recent Win Vs Broncos

PFF Points Out That The Raiders’ Rookies Need More Time

Sam Monson of PFF pointed out that Ruggs’ speed is what’s keeping him from getting more targets. Opposing defenses must account for him whenever he’s on the field, hence, so quarterback Derek Carr might shy away if he’s commanding double coverage.

The positive flip side is that this level of attention has allowed the Raiders’ offense to get to another level. Moving forward, at some point, head coach Jon Gruden has to figure out how to get the ball to Ruggs, he can be so much more than a decoy.

In Arnette’s case, Monson has given him a pass. After all, the corner played in just his fourth game this past weekend versus the Denver Broncos. It’s definitely a work in progress, but the fact that Broncos quarterback Drew Lock only looked to him twice bodes well for the Ohio State product.

Monson also highlighted the fact Arnette had two missed tackles which hurt his grade. It will be interesting to revisit these grades after this Sunday’s crucial matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

You May Also Like: What’s The Biggest Difference Between Last Year’s Raiders And Now?

*Top Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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4 thoughts on “Raiders First Round Haul Continues To Grade Poorly”

  1. I am actually more concerned about Ruggs than with Arnette. Ruggs’ profile indicated a high bust potential: despite off-the-charts athleticism and supposedly good hands, he had very low production at Alabama where he was the third-best receiver, at a position (WR) where a high percentage of first rounders are busts. He has great speed, but doesn’t seem to be elusive enough to get open. And he still misses on the little things like getting two feet down.

    I am more encouraged by Arnette not getting more targets than I am discouraged by him missing tackles. He can work on his tackling, but an inability to cover is much worse.

    Monson is an idiot. The idea that the defense is going to key on a player that has only caught a handful of passes, and hasn’t shown he can reliably beat coverage is ludicrous. Waller is much more likely to attract attention as he shows every week how he is dangerous. And Agholor already has 5 touchdowns. Can we just stop with the fantasy that there is somehow an excuse for why Ruggs hasn’t produced?

  2. I actually don’t blame Ruggs. He is playing out of position most times. The Raiders are force feeding him the slot position. Ruggs has been an outside receiver his whole life. At Alabama, he was on the outside. Jeudy was in the slot. In Ruggs, let his primary spot be outside. That way he can kill the defense on slants, like he’s been doing since HS and Alabama.

  3. George M Gavares

    That night be the dumbest article I’ve ever read. Ruggs has been critical to the success of this team because of his presence. Teams have focused on him which is directly attributable to the success of Agholar and the running game in general. Arnette has been out almost the whole season so far so why even mention him? PFF has a place but sometimes journalists needs to think for themselves. Apparently this is not that journalist lol

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