The Las Vegas Raiders went old school when they decided to draft the fastest wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft in Henry Ruggs. While the former Alabama star is skilled in many other ways, everybody just wants to see his elite speed in action. Ruggs isn’t the only wideout on the Raiders’ roster with otherworldly speed. Rico Gafford may not be a household name but even Madden 21 couldn’t ignore just how fast he is.
These are your fastest WRs in #Madden21 💨
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) July 17, 2020
According to the Madden ratings, Gafford and Ruggs are among the six fastest wide receivers in the NFL. Naturally, with training camp closing in, fans would love to see the two men race.
I’d rather see @RicoGafford2_ and Ruggs race 👀
— Ivan The Great (@IvanTheGreat7) July 21, 2020
This led to Gafford responding by proposing to Ruggs that they make it happen. The first-round pick responded.
Whenever u ready lmk https://t.co/i5dQRZO9f9
— HJR III™💎 (@__RUGGS) July 21, 2020
It looks like we could get a race between the two wide receivers at some point in the future. While Ruggs would probably be the favorite to win, don’t sleep on Gafford.
Exactly How Fast Are Both Guys?
Ruggs is a really big name while Gafford isn’t widely known outside of the Raiders fan base. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not incredibly fast. Gafford played his college ball at Wyoming where he was a cornerback. He didn’t go the NFL Combine but he was able to show off insane speed at his pro day.
According to the Casper Star-Tribune, Gafford was unofficially timed at 4.26 and a 4.23 40-yard dashes. In fact, at least one scout clocked him in at a 4.19. If the 4.19 was accurate, that’d be faster than any time in the history of the combine, including Ruggs’ time.
Ruggs ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine. While that made him the fastest player of this current draft class, it wasn’t record-breaking like some were hoping. Now, the difference in speed between the two players is incremental and it has been over two years since Gafford had his pro day. Right now, Ruggs would probably have the edge in a foot race but it would definitely be close.
— Win City Silver & Black Pride (@SilverBlakPride) December 8, 2019
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Ruggs Is More Than Just a Speedster
There’s a ton of talk about just how fast Ruggs is but the Raiders wouldn’t have taken him so early in the draft if all he could do is run. According to Nick Saban, who coached Ruggs at Alabama, Ruggs is a lot more than a guy who can run fast.
“It’s the mental and physical toughness,” Saban said in an interview with the Raiders in April. “He never complains about not getting the ball. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do, whether he has to block on a running play or an RPO or whatever it is. What I think people aren’t talking about is the mental and physical toughness that the guy has.”
Star wide receivers have a tendency to become divas and the Raiders are very familiar with that based on last year’s offseason. There’s no indication that Ruggs is that type of player at all. He played with a lot of other elite wide receivers at Alabama so he’s learned that he can’t always get the ball. He should fit it really well with the roster that the Raiders are putting together.