Alabama Football: What will Henry Ruggs bring to the Las Vegas Raiders?


Henry Ruggs was a monster at receiver for Alabama football for three years. What will he do in the NFL as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders?

Alabama football had an embarrassment of riches on offense for the past three seasons. One of the reasons was because of Henry Ruggs, the fastest man in college football. Ruggs was a threat to make it into the end zone on almost every play, and he was part of the reason why the Tide might have had the greatest receiving corps in college football history last season.

Ruggs will now be playing on Sundays for the Las Vegas Raiders after being drafted WR1. So, what does he bring to that offense? Let’s start with looking at what he did for the Tide.

In Alabama’s offense, the thought was to get the ball out of the QB’s hands quickly. This happened on RPO slants, screens, and jet passes. Ruggs was the focal point with most of these actions last season, using his speed to get to the next level of the defense. This ability got him eight total touchdowns for the Tide. This will translate well to the NFL as college schemes are finding their way into the pros. More teams are going to the RPO scheme, and Ruggs would thrive in that style.

However, I think his biggest asset with the Raiders will be his ability to stretch the field. They have practically no deep threats on offense, which lets opponents to stack the box to stop Josh Jacobs. Carr’s arm is underutilized, so Ruggs will force defenses to respect the deep threat.

Even when Ruggs isn’t on the stat sheet, this type of impact matters. If Tyrann Mathieu has to take two steps back to respect Ruggs’ speed, that might be enough for Jacobs to get the first down underneath. If he doesn’t, HR3 can almost definitely have an impact on the scoreboard.

Being successful in the NFL is all about versatility. You have to be able to counter to anything the defense throws at you, and now the Raiders can. They can win in the run game, the quick pass game, and the deep ball. Their offense isn’t perfect, but it certainly got more competitive with this selection.

This also doesn’t speak on Ruggs’ leadership. In a receiver room filled with stars, he was the alpha. This is the type of player Gruden wants in the locker room. The Raiders have prioritized high-character players from blue-blood programs in the past two draft, and Ruggs fits that mold.

Alabama stars in 2021 Mock Draft. dark. Next

I don’t know if Henry Ruggs will have Pro-Bowl numbers as a rookie, but he will certainly make a difference from the moment he steps on the field. Fans should be excited about what Ruggs brings to the fold in Vegas.