The Las Vegas Raiders needed a playmaker and they might have found the best one in the draft in Henry Ruggs. Sure, it could be argued that CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would’ve been the better pick, but nobody had the same game-breaking ability that Ruggs will bring to the team. There may not be a player more revered in Raider Nation than Charles Woodson and he gave some advice to the wide receiver after he was picked.
Woodson is perhaps the best draft pick the Raiders have made since he was selected by the team in 1998. He went from being the fourth overall pick to one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history. If Woodson is you giving you advice, you should listen. Ruggs will have plenty of support from Raiders alumni if he seeks it out.
Ruggs Believes WR Depth at Alabama Hurt His Stats
Much is made about Ruggs’ speed, but he believes he can do more than just run fast. He’s a good route runner and doesn’t drop a lot of passes.
“I feel like I can show that at any time,” Ruggs said during a call after his selection. “Of course, my tape speaks for itself, but when I get out there I think people will see that I can do more than just run.”
Throughout the draft process, Ruggs was considered one of the three best wide receivers in the class despite not having amazing numbers at Alabama. He never accumulated more than 746 receiving yards in a season. The Crimson Tide also had Jerry Jeudy and Devonta Smith to feed.
“It definitely kind of held me back,” Ruggs said. “There were a lot of talented receivers and we had to share the ball. Everybody got a chance to contribute but playing with that group of guys only makes you better and makes you want to take advantage of every opportunity.”
Ruggs won’t have the same problem in Las Vegas. Sure, the team has Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams to feed, but Ruggs brings a completely different skill set to the table and should see plenty of targets.
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Ruggs Calls Himself an ‘Explosive Playmaker’
One thing the Raiders have been lacking is a serious home run hitter. In Ruggs, they now have a player who is a threat to take it to the house on any play.
“I’m an explosive playmaker and can be a great receiver,” Ruggs said. “And I don’t think anyone wants it as much as I want it.
“I definitely think I can open up the offense. I think I’m going to make a positive impact [right away] and stretch things out with my speed.”
Speed became synonymous with the Raiders for decades while Al Davis was in charge. They’ve gone away from that in previous drafts, but drafting Ruggs is a return to tradition. Valuing speed hasn’t always worked out for the team. That said, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock appear to know what they’re doing. If they made the wrong decision, they’ll be reminded constantly because they’ll be sharing a division with Jerry Jeudy.