Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
With the 19th pick Tafur predicts that the Raiders will be looking to trade down to acquire more picks but instead select Alabama WR Henry Ruggs. The Alabama speedster may be the fastest player in the draft and hopes to break John Ross‘s 40-yard dash record of 4.22 seconds. While we know combine speed does not automatically translate in to game speed and on-field success, the Raiders will hope there is more to Ruggs’s game than that.
Tafur writes that “Gruden gets his Tyreek Hill” in Ruggs and that he will finally have the type of weapon that can take the top off of a defense the way he envisioned Antonio Brown doing. Alabama beat writer Aaron Suttles adds that Ruggs “isn’t a one-trick pony” and his “ability to make tough, contested catches is also something that stuck out during his three-year career”.
Suttles also draws the obvious parallel between Ruggs and Al Davis’s love for speedsters and this selection makes even more sense for the Raiders. We all know that speed kills in the NFL and having a receiver with elite gamebreaking speed was one of the missing links in the Raiders offense in 2019.
The combination of Tyrell Williams and Henry Ruggs stretching defenses with Hunter Renfrow feasting underneath is enough to make any Raiders fan salivate, and that is without mentioning Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller suddenly operating with more space than ever.
The Raiders offense last thrived when Derek Carr was surrounded by talented weapons in Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, and Latavius Murray but if the Raiders select Ruggs then this bunch may be even more dangerous.