As we continue our series breaking down NFL Draft props, let's examine a prop from William Hill Sportsbook on Alabama standout wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
Ruggs is a standout in what may be the deepest wide receiver class an NFL draft has ever seen. My colleague Kevin Hanson has Ruggs ranked as his 12th overall prospect. Ruggs has game-changing speed, he can break the seal on the defense with no problem and his elite run after the catch skills give him the ability to score whenever he gets the ball in his hands.
William Hill sportsbook has Ruggs' over/under draft position set at 14.5. If you like the over you can get it at even money. The under has been juiced down to -120.
There are a number of teams that should be taking a wide receiver early in the draft. The New York Jets have a few needs on offense and could take either a wide receiver or an offensive lineman in the first round with the 11th overall pick. The Las Vegas Raiders, drafting at No. 12, could go with a wide receiver, as could the San Francisco 49ers with the 13th pick. Here's what 49ers Maven Nicholas Cothrel had to say about Ruggs' potential fit with San Francisco:
The 49ers already possess two physical pass-catchers with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Ruggs would be the perfect option for implementing a new wrinkle in Shanahan's offense as he can stretch the field with dynamic straight-line speed.
In order to truly analyze this bet, it all comes down to how you rank Ruggs vs. LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is Kevin Hanson's 16th ranked prospect in this draft. He can play all over the field, but I think he better suited as a slot receiver in the NFL while Ruggs is more likely to play as a split end on the next level. It could simply come down to a team making that decision based on offensive system needs.
Most would agree the Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb are the two top wide receivers on this draft class. If NFL evaluators feel the same way, I don't see a path to Ruggs being drafted in the top 14.
In my latest mock draft, I have Ruggs going off the board with the 15th overall pick to the Denver Broncos. On the flip side, my partner Jaime Eisner likes Ruggs to go off the board as the first wide receiver taken at pick No. 12 by the Raiders. He very well could be right, as Ruggs' speed can be very enticing. Ultimately I think the talent and upside of Jeudy and Lamb will push Ruggs down the board.
The Play: Over pick 14.5
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