Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III makes splashy, scary, successful debut for Las Vegas

The 2020 NFL draft was flush with wide receivers, with seemingly the deepest selection in years, and the Raiders had their pick of the litter with the No. 12 overall choice.

Las Vegas selected WR Henry Ruggs III despite limited production at Alabama, looking right past a bevy of wideouts with prototypical NFL physiques. Though he possessed elite speed, Ruggs’ diminutive frame caused concern for some. Was Ruggs NFL ready?

After one week, it appears Ruggs III can help the Raiders win now. He set up Las Vegas’ first score of the day with a 45-yard catch and nearly scored the six points himself.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sure, the ball was a bit underthrown by quarterback Derek Carr, but the two are just starting to build rapport. Most importantly, running back Josh Jacobs cashed in shortly thereafter, giving the Raiders a 7-3 lead.” data-reactid=”22″>Sure, the ball was a bit underthrown by quarterback Derek Carr, but the two are just starting to build rapport. Most importantly, running back Josh Jacobs cashed in shortly thereafter, giving the Raiders a 7-3 lead.

Coach Jon Gruden made a point to involve his first-round pick to start the game, even using the rookie on a fake end-around run on the offense’s first play.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Obviously [Henry] Ruggs III came up with a couple big plays,” Gruden told reporters after the game, a 34-30 win over the Panthers. “We targeted him early. He left the game with a knee. We hope it’s not severe. He was able to finish.”” data-reactid=”24″>“Obviously [Henry] Ruggs III came up with a couple big plays,” Gruden told reporters after the game, a 34-30 win over the Panthers. “We targeted him early. He left the game with a knee. We hope it’s not severe. He was able to finish.”

Ruggs injured his left knee on a reception attempt in the second quarter. He returned to the game but didn’t make any more big plays. But Ruggs did show toughness and the ability to fight injury, two vital components for an NFL player.

Early returns are good as far as Ruggs’ availability going forward, according to The Raiders Wire’s own Levi Damien.

Overall, Ruggs paced the Raiders wide receivers with three catches for 55 yards, and he added 11 yards rushing on two carries. His impact was impossible to ignore during his debut, however, and early on, it looks as though he has what it takes to help propel Gruden’s offense to another level.

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