The second-fastest player in football?
Raiders 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs' athleticism never has been in question. The Alabama product ran circles around Southeastern Conference defensive backs, hauling in 18 touchdown passes over his last two collegiate seasons. His high school basketball highlights provide even more evidence of his athletic prowess.
So when it comes to the rookie's rating in Madden 21, the developers are giving Ruggs plenty of respect in the speed department, as the wideout checks in with a 98 overall speed rating.
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Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, and is the highest-rated overall receiver among the six selected in the first round of April's draft.
He also is the game's second-fastest player, behind Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill. Ruggs ran a 4.28 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine in April, the fastest time of any participant.
Full ratings for all of the NFL's players will be released next week, but don't be surprised if some veterans aren't thrilled about being slower in Madden than the rookie Ruggs.
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Marcus Mariota wasn't brought in with the expectation of being a starting quarterback for the Raiders in Year 1.
But early in training camp for Las Vegas, Mariota's athleticism and ability to make plays already are making an impression on his new coaching staff.
“He’s interesting. He took off a couple times today and really fired me up,” Gruden said after Friday’s practice (h/t RaidersWire). “He’s been hurt. Looked like the ankle has really turned the corner. He’s a dazzling playmaker with his feet and that’s the key to his game. I saw glimpses of that today and it was exciting. Started off slow in 7-on-7 but picked it up and had a really nice day.”
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After being the starting QB for the Tennessee Titans in each of his first four NFL seasons, he was usurped by Ryan Tannehill on the depth chart after being benched during a Week 6 loss. Tannehill started the remainder of the season as Tennessee advanced to the AFC Championship Game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Derek Carr is solidified as QB1 for the franchise's first season in Las Vegas, but don't count out Mariota to have some kind of a role in the offense week to week. Now that Gruden has seen it up close and personal, he'll have a hard time keeping Mariota's eye-popping speed on the sideline.
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Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby has been activated from the COVID-19 list and cleared to return to the team.
He was on the practice field at the team facility for Friday morning’s training camp practice.
Crosby, who led the team with 10 sacks as a rookie last season, went on the list Aug. 6 and missed a week of camp.