The Las Vegas Raiders, making the first official pick since moving from Oakland, made a throwback pick.
The Raiders couldn’t pass on any receiver with blinding speed when Al Davis was alive, and they took the fastest receiver in the 2020 draft on Thursday.
Las Vegas — that’s still a bit weird to say — took Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III as the 12th overall pick. Ruggs ran a phenomenal 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. Davis would have approved. He might have even approved of Ruggs wearing a white robe at his house when he was picked.
The Raiders should benefit from having Ruggs threaten a defense on every play. Like Tyreek Hill with the Kansas City Chiefs or DeSean Jackson through his career, safeties need to account for Ruggs’ speed constantly. That will open up the field.
Ruggs wasn’t expected by many to be the first receiver off the board. His teammate, Jerry Jeudy, and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb were the two most likely receivers to be the first selected. But Ruggs’ speed is unique, and the Raiders couldn’t pass.
The Raiders are starting a new era in Las Vegas. But their first pick was a callback to the franchise’s roots.
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