Whatever happens during the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders will come out with at least one new wide receiver. The need at the position is obvious and there are loads of talent coming in this year. Now, it remains to be seen who the team favors, but more reports are beginning to circulate that could indicate who the Raiders are zeroing in on.
Peter King recently reported that general manager Mike Mayock “loves” Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. While he would be a really good pickup with their first pick, the team could target a player that’s a little more exciting. Henry Ruggs out of Alabama is the fastest wide receiver in the draft and the report that he was the most competitive player for the Crimson Tide will certainly sit well with Jon Gruden.
The Raiders have met with dozens of players ahead of the draft and Ruggs is one of them. However, the wide receiver recently told Pro Football Focus that the Raiders are among the teams that have “constantly” contacting him along with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. Luckily, Las Vegas picks before both of those teams in the draft.
Gruden Probably Wouldn’t Mind Getting His Own Tyreek Hill
It’s certainly eyebrow-raising that the Raiders would be in constant contact with Ruggs. The team has always been a fan of speedy wide receivers. What makes Ruggs exciting is that he’s much more than just a fast guy. He’s a solid route runner and has good hands. He’s often been compared to Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill.
There isn’t a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want their own version of Hill. Gruden’s had a front-row seat to his talent for two seasons now. It’s not a foregone conclusion that Ruggs will be nearly as good as Hill. The track record for speedy wide receivers drafted in the first round isn’t great. That said, Ruggs could still be worth a shot with the 12th pick. CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would probably be the safer picks, but Ruggs will finally give Derek Carr a wide receiver he can stretch the field with.
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Have Raiders Been Linked to Jerry Jeudy?
The idea of adding Ruggs is definitely exciting, but his former teammate Jerry Jeudy is the better fit for the Raiders. He’s been compared by a number analysts to Antonio Brown. Gruden designed his offense around the former All-Pro wide receiver before he forced his way off the team. If Las Vegas drafted Jeudy, Gruden wouldn’t have to think too hard to design some plays for him.
It’s not a given that Jeudy will be available when the Raiders select at 12 and there haven’t been any reports that he’s met with the team. If that’s the case, then they really should take a long look at Ruggs. The fact that fast wide receivers haven’t always thrived in the NFL will definitely scare Mike Mayock, who has expressed caution about drafting a wide receiver early. Regardless, Ruggs might have too much potential for the Raiders to pass up.