The Los Vegas Raiders are selecting Henry Ruggs with the 12th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Alabama wideout was one of the fastest wide receivers in college football and has a chance to become Derek Carr’s top target in his rookie season. The Raiders lost Amari Cooper in 2018 turned to Darren Waller often in the passing game last season. Now they have a young prospect with big time playmaking ability.
Ruggs tallied 40 receptions for 746 yards and seven scores in his final season at Alabama. He ranked third on the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (7) in 2019. While his volume might not suggest that he can be a top option at the next level, he has a nose for reaching the end zone. Nearly a quarter of the 98 catches he made in college led to touchdowns.
Ruggs’ explosiveness can’t be matched by many. He ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.27 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and also showed off his 42-inch vertical. He has big play potential every time he touches the ball. But speed isn’t the only thing he has going for him. He has 10-inch hands and only dropped one pass last season. However, his release and physicality when matched up against more powerful cornerbacks need work.
Fantasy football impact
Ruggs was surprisingly the first wide receiver of the board. He was selected before Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, it’s safe to say he’ll be the Raiders’ top target in 2020. His yards after catch potential will be huge given Carr’s short and intermediate throw accuracy. Las Vegas will expect a lot from him, and he could very well be the the top rookie wideout from a fantasy football perspective.
Ruggs might have more upside than any other receiver in this draft class. He gets chunk yardage regularly and scores often. He has the chance to be a factor in the run game as well, as he totaled 75 rushing yards and a score with just two career carries at the collegiate level. Ruggs has a lower floor than players like Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb and could end up being like John Ross in the end. But if he realizes his full potential, he could be a top five fantasy wideout for multiple years.