The second matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs turned out to be a shootout coming down to the final minutes. So how did the 2020 first-round rookies for the Silver and Black do?
It’s been a curious year for the two first-round picks that Raiders brass went with back in April. Both of them have had their own impact in different ways, especially wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. Cornerback Damon Arnette has battled both injury and Covid-19 in his rookie year but he’s back on the field now.
As far as last Sunday’s AFC West showdown, both rookies struggled according to Pro Football Focus. Let’s take a look at how the rookie contributors graded in what turned out to be an incredible game.
The Raiders rookies aren’t impressing PFF so far
Even though the Raiders and Chiefs went back and forth, Ruggs wasn’t involved directly all that much. He was mostly quiet as quarterback Derek Carr relied on Darren Waller and Nelson Agholor. Ruggs was graded earned a 56.8 PPF grade in this contest, still nowhere near some of the other rookie wide receivers taken in this year’s class.
Statistically speaking, Ruggs only had one catch which went for a paltry five yards. On the other hand, he continued to display flexibility as he had a carry go for 12 yards. It’s obvious that head coach Jon Gruden needs to get the former Crimson Tide receiver the ball more often because special things happen when he gets it. Involving him more in the running game could definitely go a long way.
Arnette had a rough outing versus the Chiefs
Arnette is once again a starting cornerback after overcoming a lot of adversity earlier this season. Unfortunately, he’s going through a lot of growing pains. PFF graded him at 49.6 after the Chiefs game.
They pointed out Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes targeted Arnette 11 times last Sunday and surrendered nine catches and 110 receiving yards in the process. If that wasn’t enough, the Ohio State standout missed three tackles in this contest. To be fair, this was a tough test for the rookie as he covered Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill at different instances during the game.
There’s still quite a bit of football left in 2020, so not all is lost. This Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons, they will have a chance to bounce back and start to get a positive trend going in their rookie campaigns.
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*Top Photo: Jeff Robertson/Associated Press