Speed kills. In remembrance of Al Davis’ asphyxiation with speed, the Oakland Raiders, led by head coach Jon Gruden, have added just that as of late. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller highlight the Raiders’ need for speed. They can add more during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Oakland, though improved at wide-out, is not yet set at the position. They could look towards the 2020 NFL Draft for just that. While names like Jerry Jeudy, Lavishka Shenault, Jalen Reagor, Tylan Wallace, CeeDee Lamb, and others could be in consideration, one promising wide-out, in particular, makes too much sense.
Henry Ruggs III.
Ruggs, an Alabama product, fits the Raiders’ quest to add all the speed they can. He is a burner with true 4.2 speed. He will turn heads at the combine for his 40-yard-dash time. Simply put: the man is fast.
Ruggs isn’t a one-trick-pony, however. He is an ace in contested catch situations, making him an ideal red zone target. He will burn defenses after the catch with creativity and acceleration, is physical as can be, and to top it off, he is consistent.
Did I mention he is fast? (He is fast.)
Goodness, Henry Ruggs 🔥
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) September 7, 2019
Ruggs, who measures in at 6-f00t-0 and 190 pounds, is the ideal building block for a wide receiver, despite not having a perfect size. His speed, coupled with explosive athleticism, a “dog” demeanor, and natural receiver hands give the upside of a game-breaker in the NFL.
However, Ruggs isn’t there yet. His route-running can be improved upon, as there is a lack of attention to detail. While his releases will get him by, especially coupled with his burners, the more technically-refined press cornerbacks may have success shutting him down. As previously mentioned, he isn’t the biggest and coaches would like to see him add muscle to his frame.
With cons accounted for, Ruggs is still an elite prospect entering the 2020 NFL Draft. The potential is sky-high for him as a pseudo, bigger Tyreek Hill with a more developed game coming out of Alabama. The Raiders need to take notice of that.
Imagine Ruggs’ speed in Gruden’s West Coast offense. Defenses would struggle on every snap. Williams and Waller already push them to their limit with their legs, size, and developing games. Running back Josh Jacobs forces attention to be diverted to him. Ruggs would top that off, giving the offense another fold that could make them unstoppable.
With the Raiders possessing two first-round selections (one via Chicago Bears), they should have no trouble selecting Ruggs when they ultimately convince themselves of his potential in their offense.