In his NFL debut, Henry Ruggs III showed why he was the No. 1 wideout selected in April, but he also put Raiders fans on an emotional rollercoaster.
One of the more exciting debuts of the weekend for the new-look Las Vegas Raiders was wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, the team’s top draft pick from last April. Ruggs immediately filled a need on this roster in terms of having a true WR1, and he looked every bit the part of one one Sunday.
Unfortunately, he also put Raider Nation through the ringer, showing so much potential early on, and then looking like he might be done for the season later in the game. The injury forced Ruggs to miss the rest of the first half, but he came back for action in the second half, relieving the fan base at least a little.
From elation, to sadness, and then to worry, as we still do not know the extent of his injury, it was quite a rollercoaster ride for Raiders fans when it came to the top pick in Week 1. Remember, this is a fan base that lost first round pick Johnathan Abram to a season-ending injury in Week 1 last year, so seeing Ruggs go down was pretty deflating.
Ruggs had an eventful first Sunday in the NFL
The speedster from Alabama showed the kind of gamebreaking ability he brings to this offense early on, catching a 40-plus yard bomb from Derek Carr during the Raiders second possession. That is the kind of impact he can have on any play, giving the team a weapon that is going to be very hard to scheme against.
Ruggs also showed he could be used in the run game, as he racked up 11 yards on two carries running to the outside. Through the air, Ruggs averaged over 18 yards per reception, which would have put him in the top-5 in the NFL a year ago.
Ruggs completely changes the way the Raiders do business when he is on the field, and the hope is that the injury will not be any kind of long-term issue. He put Raider Nation through an emotional rollercoaster on Sunday, but he also showed why the Raiders coveted him so much in the draft process.