In a world where everyone and their mother has a mock draft, Pro Football Focus decided to freshen things up a bit, opting to take a different route than the norm in their latest mock draft. Arguably the leader in analytics-based football information, PFF released their Analytics Mock Draft 1.0.
As you can expect, basing a mock solely on analytics, position value, and PFF’s own college-to-pro projections, led to some eye-popping selections, potentially none more so than the New York Giants‘ selection at fourth overall.
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Giants Select WR Henry Ruggs III in Latest PFF Mock Draft
With the likes of not only Isaiah Simmons but also defensive end Chase Young still on the board, along with every offensive tackle and wideout, PFF opted to go with the latter position for the Giants selection.
However, they decided to pass up the likes of Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, the perceived top-two receivers in the class, for a former teammate of Jeudy’s, speedster Henry Ruggs III.
PFF went into detail regarding their surprise selection, citing amongst, other things, the need to supply quarterback Daniel Jones with legitimate receivers and the fact that Jeudy played a plethora of snaps out of the slot during his time with Bama, a spot that is littered with talent for Big Blue.
4. NEW YORK GIANTS — WR HENRY RUGGS III, ALABAMA
GC: The worst thing that can happen to the Giants is ending up in a position where they don’t quite know about Daniel Jones because he has yet to throw to a legit set of receivers. As important as throwing the football is, getting open and catching the football is the second most valuable component of the passing game. Ruggs possesses the athleticism that every offense dreams of, and he gets open at all levels of the field. While many have his teammate, Jerry Jeudy, as their top WR, our projections slightly favor Ruggs. Ruggs lined up primarily out wide, where he was dominant at all levels of the field, while Jeudy saw a majority of his snaps lined up in the slot. Our very own Timo Riske wrote about the difference between the types of receivers and showed that the difference between elite and average is far smaller for slot receivers than it is for players who line up on the outside.
Ruggs to New York Chatter Beginning to Pick Up Heat
It’s important to note that in PFF’s own words, the mock draft is not meant as an attempt “to predict what will actually happen,” but rather who they “think should be taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.”
However, this is not the first time that we’ve heard Ruggs’ name connected to the Giants during the pre-draft process.
Even before Ruggs turned heads at the combine with his blazing 4.27 40-yard dash, Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports mocked the former Crimson Tide standout to New York.
While Ruggs is regarded by most as the clear-cut third receiver in this year’s draft class, NFL Network’s draft expert Daniel Jeremiah doesn’t see it so black and white. In fact, Jeremiah believes that when all’s said and done, Ruggs has a chance to be the first wideout selected come draft day.
“I firmly believe Henry Ruggs is in that discussion,” Jeremiah said during a draft conference call. “I think it’s a three-man race to be the first receiver.”