The Las Vegas Raiders appear to have a special young talent at wide receiver in Bryan Edwards, and he is dominating this summer.
During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III in the first round, and then South Carolina legend Bryan Edwards in the third. Within a position group that needed someone to step up and dominate, both rookies floundered in Year 1, with neither stepping into a crucial role on the offense.
While Nelson Agholor thrived, and Hunter Renfrow continued to do his thing, outside of those two, the wide receiver spot was an issue. In fairness, Ruggs and Edwards battled a strange rookie season, dealing with a pandemic, an unusual preseason, and some injuries along the way.
Now healthy, both players are going to be expected to emerge in Year 2, and for Edwards, he has looked downright dominant this summer. If he can remain healthy, based on his physical gifts, he has all the tools to be a legitimate WR1 at the NFL level.
Raiders need a true WR1 to emerge in 2021
With Agholor in New England, the Raiders obviously paid attention to the wideout group this offseason, adding veterans in Willie Snead and John Brown. They both bring interesting skill sets to the table as well, and both have had some moderate success at the NFL level.
But this season is not about them, it is about Ruggs and Edwards, and whether or not they can be the two men to lead this position group for the foreseeable future. Las Vegas has an elite tight end in Darren Waller, a player who set the team’s single-season reception record in 2020, but he needs help on the outside, and they can give it to him.
The Las Vegas Raiders already have an elite player at tight end in Darren Waller, but in 2021, he will emerge as the best in the game at his position.
The truth is, both Ruggs and Edwards are key if this offense wants to do anything special this summer, and we have already seen the group ranked pretty low by some national media outlets. When healthy, Edwards has everything you look for in a player atop the depth chart, and if he can become that, he becomes another Day 2 steal for Mike Mayock and the front office.