The Raiders badly needed a receiver heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, and they didn’t wait long to select one.
Las Vegas drafted Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs with its first pick (No. 12 overall) Thursday, adding a major pass-catching threat to coach Jon Gruden’s offense.
Ruggs, 21, has SEC speed, running a blistering 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He used that speed to his advantage last season, catching 40 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. More than 38 percent of his catches resulted in gains of 15 yards or more, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Raiders struggled to fill Antonio Brown’s void after the receiver requested his release days before the start of last season, but Ruggs gives quarterback Derek Carr a dynamic new target in the Silver and Black's first season in Las Vegas.
Player profile: Henry Ruggs
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 188 pounds
Hometown: Montgomery, Ala.
40-yard dash: 4.27 seconds (fastest among wide receivers)
Vertical jump: 42.0 inches
Broad jump: 131.0 inches
What experts said before the draft
Todd McShay, ESPN: “I love Ruggs because he’s physical, he loves playing special teams, he’ll block for you."
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: “He has a different gear. What Ruggs brings to the table is speed and it is real and it plays. It’s freaky the speed that he brings. And with that, you get a guy who catches the football. He only had one drop this year and he’s extremely tough.”
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: “The best way to explain how he can be used in the NFL is to look at Tyreek Hill in Kansas City, but Ruggs is a more developed route-runner than Hill was when he came into the league in 2016.”
Greg Cosell, NFL Films: "Ruggs is as explosive a WR as I have seen in on tape with his combination of short area burst and instant effortless acceleration. He can line up in multiple positions and effectively work all three levels of coverage."
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