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The Raiders selected Alabama WR Henry Ruggs with the 12th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Ahead of CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Wow. Ruggs has field-tilting speed. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch over 3 college seasons and blazed a 4.27-second 40 time at the Combine. The 5’11, 188-pounder also crushed the vertical and broad jumps to earn a 99th percentile SPARQ score. Ruggs’ college production is lacking, though. He never topped 46 catches or 746 receiving yards in a season, despite catching passes from QB Tua Tagovailoa for much of that time. Ruggs feasted on weaker competition, averaging 100 yards and 1.2 TDs per game vs. Non-Power 5 schools over the last 2 seasons but just 47 yards and .6 TDs vs. Power 5 opponents. And, despite that elite speed, he made just 4 receptions 20+ yards downfield in 2019. Ruggs also dealt with a rib injury, a lower-body injury and a 3rd undisclosed injury this past season. “He was really a specialist in their offense where they designed certain plays for him,” an anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He is fast, but when people get on him you don’t see the same speed and route running. When he gets the ball, if he has a clear path, he can go. But he’s not a make-you-miss player.” It’ll be a disappointment if Ruggs doesn’t immediately carve out a significant role as a rookie, although we don’t like this fit with the conservative Derek Carr.

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Raiders WR Henry Ruggs said during his Wednesday press conference that he packed on 13 pounds this offseason. “It was my focus. It’s a man’s game now and I’m not the biggest guy, but I have to get to where I can compete with grown men now,” Ruggs said. “So that was one of my biggest things that I hammered on was getting bigger, eating all the time, and just hammering down in the weight room. And people [have been] saying I look noticeably bigger, so I guess it’s paying off.” We've seen some speed guys in the past try to add weight and lose some of the speed that set them apart, so we'll be interested to see Ruggs in action. The 2nd-year wideout seems mindful of that. “Even in the weight room, you work on different things, but when you’re gaining weight, you still have to do the little-guy things that I’m known for,” Ruggs said. “So, still hammered on those things and just got better in the things that I needed to work on.” Ruggs remains outside the top 50 WRs in ADP, so there's little risk in betting he can step into Vegas' top role.

Raiders QB Derek Carr talked up 2nd-year WR Henry Ruggs after minicamp. “Man, he’s been impressive,” Carr said via The Athletic. “The way he’s running routes. He’s being violent in his cuts. I think something clicked in his head. Just like with everybody, you play a season in the NFL, you go back and watch the tape and you’re like, ‘Wow, I know what it takes now.’ And you either do it or you don’t. And he’s showing already that he said, ‘Nah, I’m going to do it.’ And it’s been so impressive.” In 2020, the Raiders miscast Ruggs as a downfield WR, helping contribute to a poor 26-452-2 line (13 games). The ‘Bama product has added weight this offseason and will start opposite either Bryan Edwards (the WR2 favorite) or John Brown. Ruggs is well worth a look in the double-digit rounds of best ball drafts.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs has been activated from the COVID list and is expected back for Saturday night’s game vs. the Dolphins. The rookie hasn’t topped 3 catches in a game all season and is nothing more than a DFS flier.

The Raiders have placed WR Henry Ruggs on the COVID list, which will keep him out of Thursday night's game against the Chargers. That takes speed out of the lineup for Vegas, but Ruggs has yet to top 3 catches in a game this year. The rookie did rank 2nd (slightly) behind Nelson Agholor in snaps among Raiders wideouts in Sunday's loss to the Colts. His absence figures to elevate the role of fellow rookie Bryan Edwards, who operated as the #4 receiver against Indy. Edwards would join Agholor and Hunter Renfrow as the top 3 at the position for an upside matchup with a struggling Chargers defense.

Buffalo
11:10am EDT 10/11/20

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (hamstring) is active for today’s game against the Chiefs. He put in full practices on Thursday and Friday, so he should be close to 100%. Consider the rookie a boom/bust WR3 in what could turn into a shootout in Kansas City.

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