Las Vegas Raiders: 3 players who could surprise in a good way in 2021
Henry Ruggs III
It can’t just be all about defense, right? Well here is the outlier.
Henry Ruggs was selected last year with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, and expectations were high for the talented speedster out of Alabama. He was the first wide receiver to come off the board and many believed he was not even the most talented receiver from his own school.
The selection of Ruggs did make sense in many ways, and in a move that was reminiscent of the late Al Davis, the Raiders went with speed. In today’s NFL, it made sense in a variety of ways and speed does kill. Division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs have shown that, as their wide receivers, led by Tyreek Hill, have all shown that exceptional speed provides a winning formula.
With a slight frame, Ruggs seemed to find difficulty in sustaining hits from larger defensive players in his first season and seemed to be exclusively used in deep ball scenarios which were always a 50/50 coin toss. Fast forward a year later, the slight frame of Ruggs has been completely bulked up, as he added 12 pounds of muscle.
Also, with a full year, and now an actual camp to adjust to quarterback Derek Carr, it seems the sky is the limit for the second-year pro. In the defense of Carr and Ruggs, Carr has never had a wide receiver with the ability and breakaway speed of Ruggs, and there needed to be an adjustment period.
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With the departure of the number one receiver, Nelson Agholor, the pressure mounts for Ruggs, and he will have the kind of snap count that is going to warrant major production. Ruggs’ newly chiseled physique and experience should work wonders for the 22-year-old receiver, and Ruggs should become a problem for opposing cornerbacks now and until the distant future.