With the twelfth overall pick, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Alabama WR Henry Ruggs. Despite other wideouts on the board, Gruden and Mayock took the one they wanted. Ruggs will allow the offense a bit more dynamic freedom in playcalling. Derek Carr gets a reliable target on the outside for the first since Michael Crabtree departed.
What He Does Well
Granted, we all know that Ruggs carries phenomenal deep speed. Yet, he wins with the ability to weave through traffic. Unlike many deep threats, Ruggs weaves his way through traffic, then explodes downfield. In Tuscaloosa, he wins with nimble feet that flew through screens and slants. As a result, labeling Ruggs as just fast remains a misnomer.
If you listen to podcasts, read opinion pieces, or peruse Twitter, you’ll find scores of people making excuses for Derek Carr. The latest centered around his apparent lack of wideouts that could gain separation. With Ruggs making the voyage from Montgomery to Las Vegas, Carr needs to embrace risk. The Raiders now employ a threat to score every time he touches the ball. How will the quarterback react? The Raiders went three consecutive years without picking a passer in the first. This team looks firmly in Derek Carr’s hands. With that, the overwhelming expectation of immediate success should occur.
Henry Ruggs steps on to the Vegas stage as the newest Raiders first-round pick. While he must do his part, the team must meet him halfway. In order to succeed, Carr and Ruggs must get on the same page.