There was both promise and concern for the Las Vegas Raiders’ first-round picks this past Sunday against the New York Jets.
Both Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette had an impact on this game but for different reasons. In fact, this season has been a bit of a conundrum when we talk about the first round class for Las Vegas. Ruggs is a speedster that brings with him exactly that, speed. It is something that can’t be coached and has helped bring another dimension to head coach Jon Gruden’s offense. Alternatively, his stats haven’t been too impressive, which we could attribute to how he’s being used so far as well.
For Arnette, the jury is still out. Coming into the season, many analysts believed the Raiders reached on his selection. So far, it’s hard to make a case for him. When he’s been on the field, he’s been solid but was he worth the 19th overall selection? The other major concern regarding Arnette is his health. In this day and age, given everything we know regarding CTE, Arnette’s back-to-back concussions are no joke. Even more concerning is that sustained a thumb injury earlier in the year. Saying he is hurting would be putting it lightly.
PFF Impressed With Raiders’ Ruggs, Arnette Not So Much
As far as Pro Football Focus is concerned, Ruggs is trending upward and his late-game heroics were nice to see. ’11’ torching his man and watching him score in the endzone to win the game’s something Raider Nation would lo. Sam Monson said it best, “Ruggs has still yet to emerge as a consistent star performer, but he’s talented enough where it should be just a matter of time before we see more.”
The advance statistics site recognized that Arnette’s injuries have derailed his rookie campaign. 13 weeks into his rookie year, the Ohio State standout has only played on 275 snaps and has given up a 75 completion percentage when targeted. The silver lining is he has yet to give up a touchdown so there’s that.
For now, we’ll have to see how these two perform with huge games coming up, especially against the Indianapolis Colts.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/John Bazemore