NFL Draft: Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have reasons to be a confident pair

Three wide receivers are likely to be among the first 16 NFL Draft picks. Two of three are former Alabama football players, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III.

The 2020 NFL Draft class is loaded with NFL-ready wide receivers. Two of the best are former Alabama football players, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. Along with former Sooner, CeeDee Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs are first-round locks and likely all to be selected in the top half of selections.

There is considerable debate among NFL Draft pundits over which of the three is best. Some say, Lamb, more say Jeudy and a few believe it is Ruggs. The differences are so minimal, it may not matter much which one is selected first. The three will probably be selected between pick No. 11 and No. 15. The No. 11 selection in the 2020 Draft can receive an $18.3M contract. The No. 15 selection can sign a $15M deal. The difference in Signing Bonus will be less, approximately $2.3M. The difference in contract deals will be even less with the No.12, No.13 and No.14 picks.

More important for the wide receiver trio is a chance to become a feature wideout early in their NFL careers. The New York Jets at pick No. 11, the San Francisco at No. 13 and the Denver Broncos at No. 15 offer quick starting opportunities. Those three are not the only teams needing key wideouts, so trades should not be ruled out. Plus the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 12 might skip their needs in the secondary and take a wideout as their first pick.

If the NFL Draft were a free market (it is not) Jeudy, Ruggs and Lamb could benefit from a seller’s market. Even with the carefully orchestrated constraints of the NFL Draft, perceived talent is still rewarded on the basis of future merit.

Beyond their best physical attributes, route-running for Jeudy and speed and toughness for Ruggs, NFL execs value their mental skills. Jeudy is quieter than Ruggs and not as quick to tout his skills. But for a college player, he has turned route-running into a science. ESPN’s Todd McShay called Jeudy,

… the most polished route runner he has ever seen coming out of college.

That is high praise and the video below highlights some of Jeudy’s precision.

Besides blazing speed that is arguable faster than the 4.27 he ran at the NFL Combine, Henry Ruggs is a confident young man. Check out his recent conversation with Jim Rome.

Without debating when Lamb should be drafted, no team will make a mistake taking Jeudy over Ruggs. The opposite would also be true.

Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley already being established in the NFL, Tide wideouts are in demand for NFL teams. Add Jeudy and Ruggs, along with former Tide backups like Robert Foster and  Cam Sims in the league – Alabama football could claim to be ‘Wide Receiver U.’