Raiders

Raiders' Mark Davis believes dad, Al, would love rookie Henry Ruggs

Raiders' Mark Davis believes dad, Al, would love rookie Henry Ruggs

With the No. 12 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Raiders went back in time, and owner Mark Davis believes that philosophy would have made his father, Al, proud.

The late Al Davis, who was a Raiders owner and general manager from 1966 through 2011, loved speed. He coveted it as a way to pressure defenses, sometimes even a bit too much. So with the top pick in the draft this year, Mark took one out of his father's book and added Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs. 

“Henry Ruggs was the player I wanted for the last six months,” Davis recently told The Athletic's Vic Tafur. “My dad was always trying to replace Cliff [Branch] with so many different types of guys. … Speed, speed, speed and we really got away from that the last five, six, seven years.

"We really didn’t have anybody that could run. Nobody could run."

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That changed in a hurry with the addition of Ruggs. The former Crimson Tide star ran a blazing 4.27 40-yard dash at the NFL Pro Scouting Combine. That speed translated to big numbers in college, too. 

Ruggs combined for 83 receptions, 1,487 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns between his sophomore and junior seasons. He's a freak athlete, and Davis has high expectations for him.

“I watched Henry Ruggs and his speed and quickness and his strength were pretty impressive," Davis said. "And then if you see his basketball highlights, my God. He made some nice tackles on interceptions and he’ll block too. He is a complete player. I was just so thrilled that we drafted him.

"Maybe that’s the piece that we haven’t had that’s Raiders football. You throw it deep the first play and the safety is worried the whole game.”

[RELATED: Raiders' 2020 rookies won't have same impact as '19 class]

The Raiders' offensive is full of returning players. Quarterback Derek Carr will lead the way for his seventh season, running back Josh Jacobs looks like a star and tight end Darren Waller had a breakout season. As a rookie, though, Ruggs should be well-positioned to make a big impact from Day 1.

And Al Davis would be proud.

Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl receivers

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USATSI

Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl receivers

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Tuesday compared rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards to Carr’s former Fresno State teammate and current Packers’ star Davante Adams. On Friday one of Edwards’ high school coaches said he has long seen similarities to another perennial All-Pro.

“He’s always reminded me of A.J. Green,” said Conway (S.C.) head coach Carlton Terry, who was an assistant when Edwards played there and coached against Green in high school. “They both just have that ability to make plays at receiver and return punts. Just men on the field in comparison to the other players. Not only did they stand out vertically, but for big men to have that athleticism is just so rare.”

Edwards’ natural gifts were evident from the moment he walked into Conway High School as a 13-year-old freshman.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal

 

Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list

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USATSI

Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list

Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Thursday talked about the need to adapt every day to the practice availability of his players.

It went without saying he was referring to the potential impact of COVID-19, the constant shadow he and the Raiders will be operating under this year.

By late afternoon, that possibility became a reality when Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby and running back Rod Smith were added to the COVID-19 injured reserve list.

Read more on the Review-Journal