Raiders’ Henry Ruggs Gets Brutally Honest About Rookie Season

henry ruggs

Getty Las Vegas Raiders WR Henry Ruggs.

When the Las Vegas Raiders made Henry Ruggs the first wide receiver selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, the expectation was that he’d be an immediate difference-maker. In some ways he was, but overall, his rookie year was disappointing. He looked small last year but it’s clear that he put in work to bulk up.

Ruggs has added some muscles this offseason and knows what he needs to improve heading into his second year.

“I can always develop in all areas,” Ruggs said Wednesday. “Adding strength, adding versatility, moving around, moving to different positions, running different routes, expanding my route tree and doing different things — finding different ways to help the team out. I’m open to all of it, and I’m excited to learn and do new things for the team.”

Ruggs has all the talent necessary to be a star in the NFL. He couldn’t put everything together as a rookie but could be ready to step things up in Year 2. He’s known as a hard worker so he’s not going to go down without a fight.

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Ruggs Calls Rookie Season ‘Frustrating at Times’

While Ruggs can still be a productive NFL wide receiver, there’s no doubt his rookie season was a dud. He only caught 26 passes in 13 games for 452 yards. He’s decided to move past his rookie season and focus on the future.

“Last year is in the past,” Ruggs said. “Yes, it was frustrating at times, but like I said, that’s in the past. We build on it; it’s a fresh start now, and we’re going to work to make it better.”

The Raiders have shown confidence in Ruggs this offseason by not attempting to acquire a star No. 1 wide receiver. A lot of the team’s offense hinges on whether or not he can be a No. 1. The Raiders drafted him to be Tyreek Hill but he looked closer to Tavon Austin as a rookie.


Mullen, Renfrow, Ruggs III and Waller Presser – 6.2.21 | OTAs Day 5 | Las Vegas RaidersCB Trayvon Mullen, WR Hunter Renfrow, WR Henry Ruggs III and TE Darren Waller address the media from Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center. Visit Raiders.com for more. #LasVegasRaiders #NFL #RaiderNation Keep up-to-date on all things Raiders: Stay informed: raiders.com/tickets/newsletter Download our app: onelink.to/8ykuaj Follow: Twitter.com/Raiders Like: Facebook.com/Raiders Shop at Raider Image: raiderimage.com/ For More Raiders NFL…2021-06-03T15:56:24Z

Hunter Renfrow Praises Ruggs

Despite the lackluster rookie year, the Raiders remain high on Ruggs. Fellow wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had some strong praise for his teammate.

“I think Henry is a great player,” Renfrow said Wednesday. “I thought that last year, y’all didn’t see all the things he did for everyone else, opening up the field for everyone else. What he’s doing, you can’t put a stat on, and what he did last year you can’t put a stat on.”

Even when Ruggs wasn’t putting up strong stats, the Raiders’ offense was better when he was on the field. There’s no doubt he opened things up for other players due to his otherworldly speed. However, the team didn’t draft him to be a decoy. They drafted him to be a difference-maker on offense. 26 catches in 13 games aren’t going to cut it. Ruggs needs to catch at least 50 balls in 2021 for around 800 yards. If he falls short of those numbers, the Raiders will have to start looking for a new No. 1 wide receiver.

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