Las Vegas Raiders Profile: Wide Receiver Henry Ruggs III
In the past, I’ve previewed every opponent for the Raiders this season and profiled every coach.
As we inch closer to Week 1, I am now profiling every player on the Raiders roster.
Today we’re profiling the other rookie wide receiver, Henry Ruggs III.
Another Big Target for Carr
Going into the 2020 draft, the Raiders needed targets down the field. Due to injury, the only real targets quarterback Derek Carr had by the end of last season were tight end Darren Waller and rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
In the first round, it was pretty much a given the Raiders would choose a wide receiver.
If we went off purely draft rankings, either Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb were the wide receiver favorites.
However, the Raiders went with the No. 3 receiver in draft rankings, Henry Ruggs III.
Regardless of ranking, drafting Ruggs in the first round was the plan before the draft even began.
“Watching Henry, I see the speed, the power,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said via ESPN. “He’s just a powerful guy. He has a power that you don’t see in guys that fast. He was the only person I wanted in this draft.”
Taking a look at his stats during the three seasons Ruggs spent with the Crimson Tide, he caught 98 passes for 1,716 yards. He averaged 17.5 yards per reception and scored 25 touchdowns, including one rushing.
An average of just under 18 yards per reception during a span of three seasons is a phenomenal stat line for Ruggs. He was on his A-game since freshman year.
If Ruggs can produce the same stats for the Raiders, he will be a key target for Carr down the field.
The speculation for the season was that Ruggs will start in the X position as Renfrow was already established in the team slot, receiving the nickname “The Slot Machine,” and Tyrell Williams was the Raiders’ “Z” receiver.
However, in a recent media session, offensive coordinator Greg Olsen revealed that Ruggs will start in the slot with the hope that he, along with Renfrow and Williams, will be able to play any position as wide receiver.
Perhaps starting Ruggs in the slot makes more sense. He booked a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, which might indicate that not only can he go deep, but also catch a short pass and fighting for extra yards.
Ruggs' value is in his speed and power. As long as the Raiders know how to use him effectively on the field, Ruggs should add necessary offensive power to the Silver and Black.
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