Henry Ruggs III is one of the most fascinating prospects in this year’s draft. He has the curse of being the fastest player in the draft, which hasn’t meant an overly successful career for receivers in the past like John Ross, Jacoby Ford, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. However, Ruggs is a different type of player than those guys ever were. He is cleaner on his routes and didn’t rely on pure speed to make plays in college.
Ruggs went to the University of Alabama where he played second fiddle to Jerry Jeudy. He ended his collegiate career with a total of 98 catches, 1,716 yards, and 24 touchdowns. These aren’t the top of the line numbers for a typical receiver expected to be drafted in the top-20, but Ruggs demanded double coverage on almost every play of his collegiate career and made huge, game-defining plays on multiple occasions.
The biggest knocks on Ruggs are that he sometimes struggles with physicality and contested catches. These are traits that can be either taught in the NFL or overlooked because of his route running, reliable hands, and game-breaking speed. While there is no mystery as to whether or not Ruggs will get drafted in the first round, there is a lot of intrigue about whether his career will end up more like Heyward-Bey’s or Julio Jones’s.
Arms: 30 1/2″
Hands: 10 1/8″
40-Yard Time: 4.27 seconds
Potential Landing Spots: Raiders, Broncos, 49ers, Dolphins