If you were just to look at the raw stats in comparison to some of the other rookie receivers, you could talk yourself into Henry Ruggs III being a disappointment after eight weeks.
However, if you have seen Ruggs play at all with the Raiders this season, you know that his impact goes far beyond the box score. While he has already hit his share of big plays, the threat of his speed has made the rest of the offense better.
In a recent article by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, he graded every first-round pick after the first eight weeks of the NFL season. Not surprisingly, Ruggs graded out well, receiving a “B” from the site. Here is a snippet of Knox’s thoughts on the former Alabama receiver below:
Numbers don’t exactly do justice to the early returns of Las Vegas Raiders rookie wideout Henry Ruggs III. He’s been limited to five games and has only 10 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown on the season. He also has a catch rate of just over 55 percent.
Also, it isn’t like bad things happen when Ruggs is targeted. Quarterback Derek Carr has a passer rating of 117.8 when throwing in the rookie’s direction.
While the numbers might suggest that Ruggs has been a disappointment—and they could indeed be better—he’s a big reason why Las Vegas sits at 4-3 and in the playoff hunt.
If it weren’t for an early-season injury, Ruggs likely would have received a grade of “A” from the site due to his explosiveness and impact on the rest of the offense. Nevertheless, it’s been a strong rookie campaign for Ruggs and it’s only slated to get better as he becomes more comfortable in the offense.
Look for the Raiders to find ways to get Ruggs more involved on offense over the second half of the season and for his stats to shoot through the roof. So far, it’s hard to complain about anything in regards to Ruggs this season.