Ryan’s Report Card: WR Henry Ruggs III (1.12)

Reacting to the draft and handing out “grades” is a fool’s errand. We know this. Opinions, oftentimes, are all over the place. When someone doesn’t agree with you, you’re immediately hit with the “check back with me in three or four years” line. I totally get that. We haven’t seen these kids in a professional environment at this point; anointing a player a “hit” or a “bust” entering even just their second season feels premature. So, the safe thing to do is wait, and sit on these opinions and gut-feelings. Things take time; waiting to get these takes off is not as fun — so here we are.

The Good

4.2-something speed; looks almost effortless when you run that fast. Totaled 98 receptions during his time in Tuscaloosa and of those 98 catches, 24 of them went for touchdowns. Productive enough, which is notable when you look around the Tide roster and see all the Day 1 players catching passes alongside Henry Ruggs. Per PFF, 38.2% of Ruggs’ 2019 catches resulted in an explosive 15+ yard play.

ryan, a lynn bowden jr. fan on Twitter

More of that “effortless speed” from WR Henry Ruggs. He looks special to me. https://t.co/quuN7dIdgT

One more PFF gem: Since 2018, Ruggs has had only 3 drops on 123 targets — that’s something completely new for most Raiders pass-catchers, and something I’m sure fans will love to read. Ruggs is also a much more polished and advance route-runner than perhaps given credit for.

ryan, a lynn bowden jr. fan on Twitter

Henry Ruggs III is the complete package. https://t.co/bubOtM5c3x

The Question Marks

Probably nitpick-y, but worth noting: Per PFF’s Mike Renner, Ruggs only had 12 “deep receptions” (targets 20+ yards downfield) during his collegiate career. He’s billed as a deep threat, given the speed, so this is one of those data points that makes you think. We touched on the route-running prowess above, but is Ruggs able to improves off the line (release) and consistently beat press? Size also comes into play here, and obviously more so at the next level.

The Grade: A

Admittedly, I was a little bummed when it wasn’t one of Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb (those would’ve been A+’s for me) off the board at 12. I had both ranked ahead of Gruden’s eventual selection entering the draft. That said, certainly not a shot at Ruggs, who’s clearly an impressive (and different) player in his own right.

We heard pre-draft from a few outlets that Gruden was gravitating toward Ruggs’ speed. We’ll never know, and it really doesn’t matter, what corner Mike Mayock was in, but I’m not entirely sure he carries enough influence anyway (especially on Day 1 of the draft; turns out the $100 million dollar man will do as he pleases). Did Gruden finally gets his “own version of Tyreek Hill”?

Overall, I like the player and I like the fit. Look for Derek Carr to exploit Ruggs’ wheels on shallow stuff like crossing routes, allowing the speedster to get into the open field and into space, creating chunk plays himself. Wide receiver was arguably the Raiders’ biggest need entering the draft, and they came away with one of the class’s best right off the bat.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


2 thoughts on “Ryan’s Report Card: WR Henry Ruggs III (1.12)

  1. Love the pick he more then just speed he can run the route tree just fine and and he goes up for the ball….and get him open he can take it to the house every time..

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