After a strong season from the Las Vegas Raiders‘ 2019 rookie class, the 2020 class was quite underwhelming. The only player who really had an impact was wide receiver Henry Ruggs and even he put up disappointing numbers. Despite being the first wide receiver selected in a loaded class, Ruggs only caught 26 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns.
General manager Mike Mayock recently made some comments where he said he was “disappointed” in the Raiders rookies. Ruggs took note of the comments and reposted them without saying anything.
The post of the comments Ruggs shared was taken out of context from a larger quote in which Mayock had a lot more to say about the wide receiver specifically.
“I was disappointed in the productivity of our rookies, I’ll be the first person to admit that,” Mayock said, via Raiders.com. “You can make excuses, you can have a conversation why. Henry Ruggs, I think is who he is, I’m not disappointed in Henry; I think Henry has to get better. We knew how fast he is, but he has to get stronger, and he has to get in and out of his breaks better. You got to feel him coming out his breaks more for him to get to the next level, and I think he will, but we have a long-term view on Henry Ruggs.”
It’s hard to know exactly why Ruggs would post what Mayock said without comment. He could be using it as motivation or he could be upset.
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Ruggs Was Critical of Rookie Season
The “diva” wide receiver has become a cliche in the NFL. For whatever reason, the best wide receivers can be very difficult. However, there’s no indication that Ruggs is like that whatsoever. In fact, when he was asked to grade his rookie season, he gave himself a D-.
Ruggs has also been on the record saying that he doesn’t care about stats. Obviously, he would like to be more involved during the games but he’s not trying to cause a stir. The most likely reasoning for Ruggs posting the comments is to use them as motivation. What Mayock told the media is probably the exact same thing he told to the wide receiver. Ruggs needs to listen to what his coaches and general manager are telling him if he’s going to get better.
Mayock Also Dished on Damon Arnette
While Ruggs didn’t have a great season, he definitely wasn’t as disappointing as fellow first-round pick Damon Arnette. The former Ohio State cornerback dealt with wrist and concussion issues that caused him to only play in nine games. In two of those games, he played less than 10 snaps. Mayock revealed what the Raiders need to see from Arnette.
“[Damon] Arnette was the other first-rounder. In training camp prior to injury, he was playing really well,” Mayock said. “We were really excited about Damon Arnette. He’s instinctive, tough and fast, but concussions, a broken hand, COVID – he’s got to take care of business in the offseason. Nutrition, strength coach, consistency of a day-to-day program.”
Arnette does have the tools to be a really good cornerback. He made some bad plays in 2020 but he’s young and didn’t get to practice a lot because of COVID-19 and injuries. This will be a very important offseason for the cornerback.