Alabama Football: Henry Ruggs III scorches NFL Combine

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Former Alabama football wide receivers, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III strengthened their cases to be first-round selections in the April NFL Draft.

Thursday night afforded former Alabama football players, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III a prime-time showcase on the NFL Network. Field drills and 40-yard sprints were the featured activity for NFL Combine quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers.

The two top-rated QBs at the Combine, Joe Burrow and former Crimson Tide QB, Tua Tagovailoa did not throw. Other QBs did throw, but the night’s NFL Network hype and real excitement were focused on whether Henry Ruggs III could set a new Combine record for the forty.  The benchmark was the 4.22 run by John Ross in 2017.

Sustaining the most suspense for last, the likely to be, higher drafted former Alabama football wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy finished before Ruggs. Jeudy ran a 4.45 and a 4.52. Widely respected as the best route runner in the 2020 Draft, hitting a 4.45 likely solidified Jeudy as the top wide receiver pick in the Draft.

When Ruggs got his turn, he scorched the 40 on his first run. He ran a 4.27 and according to observers was clearly disappointed with the result. On the second run, he drifted a bit in the running lane and finished with a 4.31. That off-the-pace, second sprint was five-hundredths of a second faster than the second-fastest WR at the Combine. Former Southern Mississippi wideout, Quez Watkins ran a 4.36.

Being five-hundredths of a second slower than John Ross’ 4.22 gave Ruggs the fifth-fastest 40 in NFL Combine history. An interesting aside was provided by the NFL Network. Unofficially, Ruggs was hand-timed running his first 40 at 4.2-flat. I guess it can be said, HR3 is unofficially the fastest man ever at an NFL Combine.

Former Alabama football quarterback, Jalen Hurts impressed on Thursday. He was the third-fastest quarterback, with a 4.59, 40 time. Cole McDonald from Hawaii and Steven Montez from Colorado edged out Jalen at 4.54 and 4.58. Hurts got good reviews during passing drills. Once considered as a third-round selection, some Draft experts now project Jalen being taken in the second round.

Henry Ruggs also helped himself in the other physical tests. He tied for fourth in the broad jump at 10-feet-11. He tied for second in the vertical jump at 42 inches. The bad news of the night was Ruggs had to skip the pass-catching drills. He had a large ice-pack on his quad but declared he would be ready for the Alabama Football Pro Day on Mar. 24.

Check out Henry’s first 40. The tweet was before the official time was adjusted to 4.27.

Next. A look back at Ruggs from 2017. dark

What changed for Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III Thursday night? Probably not much. Both young men are solid first-round picks. Jeudy or maybe CeeDee Lamb will likely be the first wideout selected. Henry Ruggs III will not be far behind.