Everybody knows how fast Henry Ruggs is but what’s been most impressive this season has been his ability to make tough catches. He made a few tough catches last season but those were few and far between. While it’s looking like he’s developing into a well-rounded wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, his speed is still his best trait.
There aren’t many players in the NFL who can keep up with him. In fact, Raiders legend Bo Jackson doesn’t think anybody can catch him. He made that clear replying to a recent tweet from the team’s official page.
Jackson knows a thing or two about speed. He allegedly ran a 4.13 40-yard dash when he was coming into an NFL, which is much faster than anybody in the league now has run. Ruggs ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine last year. That was the fastest of all the players there but not as fast as Jackson. Regardless, Ruggs is a burner and arguably the fastest player in the entire league.
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Is Ruggs Developing Into a WR1?
After his rookie season, it was looking like Ruggs could go the bust route for the Raiders. He only had 26 catches and didn’t appear to have the trust of quarterback Derek Carr. Through three games this season, it’s a completely different story.
Ruggs leads the team with 237 receiving yards. That’s even more than star tight end Darren Waller, who only has 224 yards. Most importantly, Carr clearly trusts him this year. He’s tossed up some risky passes to him and he’s made plays. Waller is still the team’s top target but Ruggs is starting to look like a No. 1 wide receiver. With him emerging as a consistent threat, the Raiders could have an elite group of weapons, which is what they’ve been longing for ever since Jon Gruden took over the team.
Gruden Impressed With WR Corps
Gruden is an offensive-minded head coach through and through. That’s why it was a bit surprising when he decided to mostly leave the wide receiver corps alone this previous offseason. Ruggs and Bryan Edwards didn’t show much as rookies to suggest that they’d be dependable targets every week. Gruden is happy with what he’s seeing so far.
“We have a lot of confidence in our receiving corps,” Gruden said recently. “They may be young but they’re talented, they’re reliable, they’re tough and they’re versatile. And they are explosive, and if you center your attention on Waller, I think these young guys are proving that they can do some damage as well.”
The receiving group of Waller, Ruggs, Edwards and Hunter Renfrow is looking like one of the best in the NFL to start the season. Obviously, it’s still early so a lot can change. However, the early season returns are impressive. This definitely the best group of receivers Carr has had to work with since he had Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in 2016.