Despite having the pick of all the top wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders took Henry Ruggs out of Alabama. The speedy wideout was the fastest player in the draft, but it wasn’t universally thought he was the top prospect. That said, he makes a lot of sense with the Raiders.
According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, the team believes that Ruggs complements Tyrell Williams really well and he revealed how Jon Gruden plans to use the first-round pick:
Now with Williams 100% recovered, and with the addition of first-round pick Henry Ruggs, the Raiders believe they have a terrific size-speed combo.
Ruggs, who I’m told will line up at the “Z” position, is expected to be fully recovered from the cut he recently suffered on one of his thighs way before training camp starts. Ruggs was helping a friend move and suffered a deep gash in his thigh.
With Jacobs, Williams, Ruggs, slot WR Hunter Renfrow, and athletic TE Darren Waller, the coaches will able to take advantage of matchups on a consistent basis for the first time in head coach Jon Gruden’s second tenure with the team.
Many are sleeping on the Raiders, but Ruggs may just be the type of guy the offense was missing last season.
Raiders Are Very High on Their Offense
The Raiders slowed down significantly toward the end of last season, but through the first 10 games, they had one of the best offenses in the NFL. They got hit with some significant injuries which hurt their productivity. This year, there’s seemingly no holes on the offense. Caplan revealed how the team feels about the offense:
Word around the team is this offense has the makings of one of their best in years and they’ll be to attack the defense in a variety of ways.
Not only do they have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but they also have two of the best playmakers around in Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. If Williams can stay healthy and Ruggs can live up to his draft status, the Raiders offense could be elite. There is still some concern around whether or not quarterback Derek Carr can help this offense reach its potential. This is the most talented offense he’s ever had and there’s no reason to believe he’s not in for his best year yet.
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Might Take Time for Bryan Edwards to Make Impact
Unfortunately for the team, it doesn’t sound like third-round pick Bryan Edwards will have much of an impact in year one, per Caplan:
After this season, look for third-round pick Bryan Edwards, who is still rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle, to possibly start at the “X” position.
Williams, who carries a base salary of $11m for this season (became fully guaranteed 3 days after the Super Bowl), has no guaranteed money past this season.
Edwards doesn’t figure to have much of a role this season, but he was drafted with the belief that he could start down the line. And the Raiders were one of many teams that felt he was a first-round talent just based on tape study, but his injury history dropped him down draft boards.
Edwards has a ton of potential and could end up being the best offensive player the team selected in 2020. However, it’s going to take some time. If Williams has another subpar season, don’t be surprised if Edwards takes his spot in 2021. While the Raiders offense should take a huge leap this season, the future is even brighter for the young unit.