The Las Vegas Raiders, were one of the teams in the draft, that desperately needed the addition of a #1 receiver to lead their offense.
With the 12th pick, there were speculations on who would be available for the Raiders. Rumors swirled around the league, like the Arizona Cardinals were a lock for reuniting CeeDee Lamb with former Oklahoma teammate, quarterback Kyler Murray. The Jacksonville Jaguars were rumored to have their eye out for Jerry Jeudy, who’s considered the best all-around receiver in the class.
The Raiders were handed a golden ticket, having the opportunity to select any of the three, top tier receivers; Jeudy, Lamb, or Henry Ruggs. It was a fairytale-dream for a receiver needy team. Many people believed Lamb was the direction the Raiders were headed. His 6’2 191 lbs frame and great athleticism, seemed logical for Las Vegas. Analysts also reported Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden was in love with Lamb. Jeudy nor Ruggs, ever seemed destined for life in black and silver.
In typical Gruden, Mike Mayock Raider fashion, they select the fastest receiver available; Ruggs III.
“We feel like the Las Vegas Raiders got faster, tougher and we got more competitive tonight…Jon [Gruden] and I could not be more pleased…When we took the fastest wideout in the draft, Mr. [Mark] Davis said his father [Al Davis] was looking down and smiled.” said general manager Mayock.
Mayock was referring to late great Raiders Owner Al Davis’s love for speedy receivers. It didn’t matter who was available in the draft whoever was the fastest guy was going to be a Raider. With Ruggs being 5’11 and with his time of 4.27 seconds on his 40-yard dash there was no question Davis would love to make him the first Las Vegas Raider to be selected.
The Raiders got the 2nd best available Alabama receiver behind Jeudy. Ruggs served as the sidekick for most of the season. Ruggs recorded 40 receptions for 746 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns last year for Alabama. Now he has the chance to finally become a #1 receiver.
With the Raiders in the same division as the notorious speed demon, Tyreek Hill, they can finally match the Chiefs with their own in Ruggs. Funny enough, his draft comparison was Hill.
Ruggs joins a receiving core consisting of Hunter Renfrow, Tyrell Williams, Zay Jones, Nelson Aghlor, and tight end Darren Waller (2019 Raiders receiving yards leader). Las Vegas quarterback, Derek Carr, is finally handed a speedy receiver who he can target on quick passes. Ruggs, will top off Gruden’s west coast offense, that he notoriously runs.