Week 5 was a great example of why the Raiders used the No. 12 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs was targeted just three times but was able to take over the game with two incredible receptions down the field.
On the season, Ruggs has just six receptions in three games and we know how lethal he can be on limited touches. But do the Raiders plan to up his usage over the final 11 games of the season?
In a recent article by Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, he believes that the former Alabama star could be more involved in the short passing game/rushing attack going forward. Take a look at Gutierrez’s thoughts on how the Raiders plan to use their first-round receiver during the rest of the season:
“In the immortal words of Jon Gruden, the Raiders did not bring Ruggs in to run hitch routes. Which means Ruggs and his 4.27-second time in the 40-yard dash is an explosive playmaker … when healthy. True, he caught only two passes at Kansas City, but they combined for 118 yards, and what fantasy player is going to turn that down? That said, Ruggs is more than a decoy and showed he has hands to go with that world-class speed, so he does figure to be more involved in the offense as Gruden continues to get a better feel for Ruggs. Think jet sweeps and bubble screens.”
Ruggs isn’t going to post the gaudy reception and even touchdown totals of a player like CeeDee Lamb and that’s fine. The Raiders are asking him to be that type of receiver. Instead, his job is to stretch the defense and make one or two explosive plays down the field a week on limited opportunities.
However, expect Jon Gruden and the rest of the Raiders’ coaching staff to find ways to get Ruggs more involved in the offense. They want to get him the ball in space so he can make plays with his world-class speed. Look for the former No. 12 pick to average four-to-five touches per game over the next few months in the Las Vegas offense.
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