Raiders: 5 wide receivers to target in the 2020 NFL Draft

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Raiders (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

3. Henry Ruggs III — Alabama

There’s an old saying in sports that reads, “speed kills.” And in the case of Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, that phrase is absolutely applicable.

It’s difficult to put into words just how fast Ruggs is. Many analysts have claimed he’s the fastest player they’ve ever seen play and he stands a very good chance of breaking John Ross‘ 40-yard dash record come the NFL Combine.

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Ruggs has the ability to score every time he touches the ball and once misstep or poor angle could mean that he’s gone. Whether deploying him on short screens or sending him downfield to take the top off a defense, Ruggs’ speed is something that’s impossible to gameplan for.

But simply labeling him as a one-trick-pony speed demon would be doing a disservice to his game. Ruggs is a willing blocker and is actually quite polished as a route-runner.

Perhaps the biggest downside to his game is that he isn’t the most physical receiver when playing the ball and sometimes he’ll let defensive backs overpower him at the point of attack. Simply put, he isn’t the greatest contested-catch receiver.

But because of his speed and refined route-running, he doesn’t often find himself in those situations, to begin with. And with the ability to play in the slot or outside, he would be a suitable fit for any NFL team.

The Raiders need explosiveness on offense and there is no more explosive player in this class than Ruggs.