Raiders Roster Evaluation: Henry Ruggs III

Raiders Roster Evaluation: Henry Ruggs III

The Extra Point: Henry Ruggs III Has a Lot to Prove This Season

Former Crimson Tide wide receiver hit the weight room to add muscle mass during the offseason and calls himself his 'biggest critic' heading into year two with the Las Vegas Raiders
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Former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has to be better this season, and he knows it.

But that doesn't mean the Raiders aren't still excited about him.

Tuesday, the team held its first workout of training camp, and according to Raider Maven the Crimson Tide speedster was one of the players head coach Jon Gruden talked about the most. 

"You have no idea how much I'm excited about those guys. I think I hurt my arm hugging Ruggs when he walked in today," Gruden said. "Ruggs got hurt in the first game against Carolina. I think he caught a bomb and then we ran a quick route in Charlotte and he got hurt. Managed to play a little bit against New Orleans, but then he missed the Patriots game. Missed a couple of games when he had COVID.

"He's a difference maker with his speed."

Nevertheless, Ruggs finished his rookie season with just 26 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns.

The 17.4 yards per catch turned heads, as did his 72-yard touchdown. But that was about it for the first receiver selected int he 2020 NFL Draft, 12th overall.  

While the fan base grumbled, Ruggs himself made it clear that he wasn't satisfied either. He did so through his interviews and social media, but also with a video highlighting the intense training program he's put himself through this offseason.

Produced by Team Whistle as part of the "No Days Off" series, it showed a different side of the firmer Crimson Tide standout, who went from 188 pounds a year ago to 195, with more muscle mass. 

"That's been one of my main points of emphasis," Ruggs told Raider Maven back in June. "Just constantly trying to eat all the time and going hard in the weight room. It's been paying off."

The hope is that Ruggs will be able to absorb punishment better and avoid missing any more games.

"Honestly, I don't think anybody's expectations for me are higher than myself," Ruggs added.

"If I'm frustrated with anything, it's because I didn't do what I feel like I can do or I am able to achieve. It's not the critics or what other coaches or what the fans around the league may say about me. That doesn't really do too much for me because I know what I can do. I am my biggest critic."

Meanwhile, here's what Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network and her analytics team had to say about the second-year receiver from Alabama:

“Demonstrated perimeter speed and an increase in opportunity drive Ruggs’ potential to take a big step forward in 2021. Both of Ruggs’ 2020 touchdowns came off deep passes, an area in which he caught five of 14 passes for 245 yards (NGS). When targeted, Ruggs’ route running became more precise on longer routes (I tracked timing per route and separation) as the 2020 season progressed, which is a clue that he should continue to improve in 2021. Off the ball, Ruggs will continue to draw defenders to him and create space for others.”

The Extra Point is a regular weekday feature on BamaCentral, and often includes video and other elements from our FanNation partners. Other recent segments include:

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Former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has to be better this season, and he knows it.

But that doesn't mean the Raiders aren't still excited about him.

Tuesday, the team held its first workout of training camp, and according to Raider Maven the Crimson Tide speedster was one of the players head coach Jon Gruden talked about the most. 

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