Fantasy Football: What Kind of Impact Will Henry Ruggs Have With the Raiders?
With the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select speedster Henry Ruggs III.
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Ruggs received over 30 division one offers before finally settling on Alabama. A true track athlete on the gridiron, Ruggs produced multiple highlight-reel plays at Alabama.
After catching a touchdown on his first five passes at Alabama, Ruggs truly began to produce in 2018. However, despite his elite athleticism, Ruggs never finished with more than 746 receiving yards in a single season with the Tide. In fact, Ruggs never finished higher than third in receiving yards in Alabama's offense in any season.
Similarly, Ruggs profile remains layered with question marks. Widely considered a deep threat, Ruggs only hauled in 12 receptions of 20+ yards in his entire collegiate career. Because of the limited production, Ruggs failed to record a true breakout age in college. He also managed a minuscule 17.5-percent College Dominator Rating (17th-percentile).
However, NFL teams preach intangibles, and Ruggs checks that box. The Alabama product blazed the 40-yard dash with a 4.27 time. Even when adjusted for his 5'11", 188-pound stature, Ruggs still notched a 110.0 size-adjusted speed scores (90th-percentile). If you still don't believe in the athleticism, take a look for yourself.
What to Expect
Despite a lack of production in college, early draft capital gives Ruggs a chance to contribute early. However, some of Ruggs' allure comes from the way defenses must defend him. Like Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs, Ruggs' athleticism will change the way defenses match up against the Raiders.
As for his role in Oakland, Ruggs joins Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams in one of the NFL's shallowest wide receiver groups. Without any bodies of consequence ahead of him, Ruggs could theoretically step up as the team's top wide receiver. Derek Carr also lands a new weapon in an up-and-coming offense in the AFC West.
JJ Zachariason projects Ruggs for 49.24 receptions, 733.02 yards, and 3.67 touchdowns.