Name: Henry Ruggs III
Weight: 190 Lbs
Speed is one of the most coveted assets in today’s NFL and Ruggs oozes it. During this past college football season i believe the general consensus was that Ruggs was a 2nd-3rd round NFL prospect but i wouldn’t be surprised if he finds his way into the top 20.
This rise wouldn’t be unheard of for a player like him, all you need to do is look at Hollywood Brown in last year’s class. Many people liked Brown but he was rarely mentioned as the top WR in the class but that is where he was taken. If you compare Ruggs film/production to that of Brown I think you would conclude that Ruggs is the better player. Now, let’s get into some actual analysis.
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Release Vs. Press
Fires his hands and uses quick feet to get to the outside shoulder of the defender when in press. Once this happens, it’s over for the defender. He’s just too damn fast to keep up with in a trail position. Vs. South Carolina in 2019 had trouble on timing routes when letting DB get into his chest, affected Tua and forced a coverage sack.
Makes up for his lack of technical savvy with elite speed, burst and agility. Has the physical tools to develop at the next level. Showed progress as a receiver each year at Bama. Elite stop/start ability, breaks on a dime. Dangerous on the vertical route with double moves and ideal back shoulder receiver.
Would like to see him be a little more technical at the top of his routes when he has the time, a jab step to the opposite shoulder of the defender to get him turning could free up space on an inside or outside breaking route. Will need to become a little more nuanced in the intermediate range to become more than just a speed guy.
Run After Catch
He’s hard to catch if you give him space, that’s an understatement. Plays that look like simple outs or comebacks with defenders in his area turn into touchdowns at the blink of an eye. Great combination of quick and fast, you give him an inch and he takes a mile.
Good size and catch radius. Solid hands, adjust to balls thrown outside of his body. He’s a plucker, quick hands, snatches the ball out of the air and gets going. Great body control, it’s evident on back shoulders where he snaps his head around to the QB and then adjusts to the location of the ball with ease. Uses the body to trap balls at his stomach, may be an issue if playing with a QB with a stronger arm than what he’s use to.
Does a good job of dropping his behind and sticking his hands in the shoulder pads of the defender. Will fight and drive. Not content with meeting the defender and holding ground, he works to gain ground.
Play Making Ability
Refer to Run After Catch(above)…the guy can fly. He will stretch the field for vertical touchdowns, he can snap his head around on a back shoulder fade and move the chains. When given the ball with a little bit of space, he accelerates quickly and chews up chunk yardage almost instantaneously. Watching him take a 7-10 yard in breaking route to the house is a thing of beauty, defenders around him at all angles and he just bursts out of their reach with ease.
Ruggs is expected to run in the mid to low 4.2s and I believe he will end up being 1 of the 1st 3 WRs taken in this draft when all is said and done. He is just so versatile and with his physical tools the sky’s the limit.
Projected Draft Round: 1st round, most likely a top 20 pick.
Question Mark: I think the question mark is less about him and more about where will he land? Who will the QB be? What will the offensive scheme be? Where and how will they use him? You can be a blue chip prospect but if you don’t land in the right situation, there could be problems.
Comp: Santana Moss, Desean Jackson, Tyreek Hill
Team Fit: It’s hard to think up a team he wouldn’t fit with…who can’t use speed? I think he would be a great compliment to a player like Michael Thomas in New Orleans or N’Keal Harry in New England but I could also see him with Philly, Miami, Dallas & Oakland.