Henry Ruggs gets jersey number from Raiders; Oakland GM explains how he'll make offense better
Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was the first pass catcher taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Las Vegas Raiders selected Ruggs with the No. 12 pick overall, before his talented teammate Jerry Jeudy. Ruggs’ terrific 40-time (4.27) at the NFL Combine helped propel him to become the top receiver off the board.
Ruggs won’t be changing numbers after all, the Raiders announced Thursday. He’ll be wearing No. 11 in the black and silver.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock joined former colleague Rich Eisen on his radio show Thursday to discuss Ruggs.
“There was that group of ‘the top three’ wideouts that everybody wanted to talk about,” Mayock told Eisen. “We loved all three of them. I felt like Jon and our staff could take advantage of the distinctive talents of all three because they were very different. At the end of the day, I think the pure speed of Henry Ruggs is kind of what changed things for us. We felt like we’ve been bereft of speed both vertically and horizontally, and when you get a guy like Ruggs, not only are you getting a vertical threat — the deep overs, the post routes — you’re also getting those manufactured touches, the horizontal ones — the jet sweeps, the bubble screens.”
Mayock also explained how he gained some valuable insight on Ruggs from Nick Saban, and he also explained how Ruggs will make the entire team better.
“When I talked to Nick Saban, he told me that [Ruggs] approaches every day like he’s a walk-on,” Mayock said. “His work ethic is off the charts; he was a gunner and a jammer on special teams. In one body, we got a potential kick returner, a gunner/jammer, a guy to stretch the field vertically, and I think even more important than all of that… that element of speed will make Josh Jacobs better, Darren Waller better, everything underneath better, and ultimately our whole offense better.”
Ruggs is going to be a weapon in Jon Gruden’s offense.