While Henry Ruggs was the first wide receiver the Las Vegas Raiders selected in last year’s draft, there was speculation that third-round pick Bryan Edwards could end up being the more productive of the two. That didn’t end up being the case as Edwards only caught 11 passes in 12 games. He was hampered a bit by injuries but didn’t make an impact when he was healthy.
This year, he’ll be getting a full offseason to build rapport with Derek Carr and learn Jon Gruden’s playbook. Just those two things should make him better in Year 2. However, that’s not all he’s been focusing on. He packed on a good bit of muscle this offseason and had a chance to show off the new looks at Raiders OTAs.
Edwards looks closer to a tight end or defensive end than he does a wide receiver. He’s got the perfect skill set and physique to be an elite x-receiver for the Raiders. Keep an eye on him as the possible breakout star for the team in 2021.
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Tim Brown Believes Edwards Is a Player to Watch
Ever since the days of Tim Brown, the Raiders have had a hard time finding a true No. 1 wide receiver who lasted more than a few seasons. The team is hoping that either Ruggs or Edwards will be that guy. The aforementioned Brown actually seems to be higher on the third-round pick.
“I really think the guy to look out for this year is Edwards,” Brown told Heavy.com recently. “I think he’s going to be a major major cog in what happens with this Raiders offense because of his ability to run those 10 and 15-yard routes. If he can make people suck up on him, it’s going to open up things for Ruggs behind him so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with these guys.”
In a perfect world, both Edwards and Ruggs would develop together and form an amazing young wide receiver duo for the Raiders. There’s wasn’t a lot to indicate that would be the case during their rookie seasons. That said, they’ve both been putting in a lot of work this offseason.
Will Ruggs or Edwards Be Better in 2021?
Based on what we’ve seen this offseason, it’s clear that Ruggs and Edwards weren’t happy with their performances in 2020. The two have packed on muscle and been seen working out with Derek Carr even before OTAs. The Raiders have to be happy with how the two are looking considering their decision to not pursue a trade for Julio Jones.
However, there needs to be on-field production. The wide receivers can look great in practice all they want but it doesn’t matter if they don’t show up on Sundays. As of right now, it’s hard to know who will be more impactful in 2021. The easy answer is Ruggs. The Raiders invested a lot more in him than Edwards and will make more of an effort to get him the ball. That being said, don’t count out Edwards as Carr has thrived with big-bodied receivers throughout his career.