Las Vegas Raiders Rookie Roles: Wide Receiver Henry Ruggs III
What his role will be as a rookie
If his workouts are any indication then Raiders fans should expect Henry Ruggs to have a massive role in the offense in 2020. The Raiders and Gruden run a West Coast offense that emphasizes timing and is often described as complex but Ruggs’s football IQ was one of the reasons he was selected so high.
Ruggs should be penciled in immediately as the number one receiver opposite Tyrell Williams and we should expect to see the Raiders do everything they can to give him the ball in space. Mike Mayock has been vocal about getting Ruggs what they call “manufactured touches” such as bubble screens and end-arounds to give him plenty of opportunities to make big plays.
Aside from the manufactured touches the Raiders will lean on Ruggs to open things up underneath for players like Hunter Renfrow and Josh Jacobs who both had excellent rookie seasons. Ruggs may not be the type of player that is a third-down security blanket like the aforementioned duo but big things are surely in the works for him and his skillset.
Derek Carr had career highs in yards per attempt and air yards per attempt in 2019 but this is still an area of his game and the Raiders offense that we should expect to see further improvement thanks to Ruggs. His straight line speed is incredible and will help him beat defenses over the top but his lateral quickness is just as impressive and will help turn those screens and slants in to big plays.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about what Henry Ruggs will bring to the offense and it does not seem like the Raiders will be shy about the responsibilities they give him from day 1. If he has the football IQ to pick up the offense and has established a rapport with Carr over the summer then we should see big numbers and major impact from Ruggs in 2020.