New Raiders WR Supposed to Fill Antonio Brown Role This Year: Report

antonio brown derek carr

Getty Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr with Antonio Brown.

For those who don’t remember, the Raiders were supposed to have a very strong wide receiver corps last year. Antonio Brown was the best wideout in the league and Tyrell Williams looked amazing in training camp. Everybody knows by now how that story ends but things are starting to look up for the team.

The Raiders desperately needed a Brown-type receiver last year and it seems like they may have found it in Henry Ruggs, according to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

Last summer, we saw via Hard Knocks just how important deep speed was to the Raiders offense. Head coach Jon Gruden was salivating at the prospect of Antonio Brown opening up his game plan. That fell through due to Brown’s numerous on- and off-field issues, but the Raiders’ front office feels they’ve adequately replaced that role in the offense while upgrading the X receiver spot.

“Ruggs is going to pick up what AB was supposed to do last season,” one Raiders source said. “This is a mature bunch of young receivers, but they’re attacking camp like pros. [Derek] Carr loves them already.”

A lot was made about how Jon Gruden built the offense around the idea that Brown was going to be there. Now, the Raiders shouldn’t expect Ruggs to be that good out of the gate but he certainly has the talent to fill in that type of role.

Raiders Compared to Basketball Team

Ruggs is just one of the exciting wide receivers the team has one the roster. According to Miller, the Raiders compared the wide receiver corps to athletes from another sport.

“You want a basketball team at receiver, they say,” one Raiders coach said. “We have ours with Ruggs running point and a whole lot of scorers around him.”

Though Ruggs is going to get all the hype this year, third-round pick Bryan Edwards has been very impressive in training camp. He’s the complete opposite of Ruggs and the two should have a great dynamic. It could take a year or two for the young wide receivers to fully integrate into the offense but once they do, the Raiders could have an amazing duo out wide for years to come.

Henry Ruggs III Mic'd Up at 2020 Training Camp: "Having Fun Today!" | Las Vegas RaidersGo on the field with wide receiver Henry Ruggs III as he is mic'd up during 2020 Training Camp. Visit for more. #LasVegasRaiders #NFL #HenryRuggs Keep up-to-date on all things Raiders: Stay informed: Download our app: Follow: Like: Shop at Raider Image: For More Raiders NFL Action: Start…2020-08-18T23:56:09Z

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Raiders Scout Praises Roster

It’s no secret it’s been a bumpy last 20 years for the Raiders. They went from Super Bowl contenders to bottom feeders to seeing brief success and then being bottom feeders again. Mark Davis hired Gruden so the team could finally have some consistency but the hiring of Mike Mayock as general manager may have been the best move the young owner has made. He’s been able to find a lot of talent in free agency and the draft.

“Mayock really set the table for this team,” one Raiders scout said, per Miller. “He brings in Cory Littleton and Damarious Randall to fix the middle of the field, then gets Derek legit weapons in the draft. This is a good roster.”

For the first time in a while, the Raiders have young talent all over the roster. Mayock and Gruden are clearly playing the long game as it’s hard to imagine this team doesn’t get better and better each year.

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