2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Henry Ruggs III
Position: Wide Receiver
School: The University of Alabama
Weight: 188 pounds
Without qualification, Ruggs brings serious explosion to the field. With first-step acceleration, he flies by corners. Moreover, that immediate burst places defensive backs at such a disadvantage, Ruggs’ speed can destroy the most sound pursuit angles. With the ball in the air and Ruggs with a step, the potential for six rises exponentially.
Although not excessively sticky, Ruggs stabs, transfers and heads downfield. Now, where Ruggs can hopefully improve is the vertical catch. With his ability to leap, he needs to become more of a factor with contact grabs.
With his ability to house every catch, teams may give Ruggs a bit of a cushion underneath. In contrast, if they are smart, they’d attempt to maul him at the line to disrupt his timing. With a clean release, Ruggs traces a quality route. While he does not profile as the pattern craftsman that former teammates Devonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy are, Ruggs can tinker with the nuance of his approach. To their credit, Alabama used him on screen and underneath patterns that allowed him to use that breakaway ability at all three levels. For instance, the quick slant, a basic route, becomes a potential touchdown.
Tyrell Williams does not fit the profile as a lead wide receiver. As a result, he would slide into the second role. As such, the team needs as number one receiver. Normally, Gruden prefers larger wideouts. Yet, he appreciates the explosion. Remember, before his multiple episodes, the Raiders wanted Antonio Brown. Of the receivers logging more than ten catches, only Tyrell Williams garnered more than ten yards before the catch. That means, the Raiders lived on the shorter routes. Ruggs changes the dynamic.
If you’re honest, really truthful, admit that the Las Vegas Raiders scare no one on offense. Granted, they employ an elite running back, mammoth offensive line and accurate passer. In Ruggs, the Raiders could actually strike vertical fear in defenses. Ruggs’ ability to destroy defenses would immediately make the offense a credible threat. On top of the threat, Ruggs could actually produce in Vegas.