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Cards’ Juggs (Murray) to Ruggs?

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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Fascinating.

Everyone knows by now that I love WR CeeDee Lamb. I not only love him for his extraordinary talent, I love him because Kyler loves him.

But Alabama’s WR Henry Ruggs III has something that Lamb and every WR on the Cardinals lack—-4.27 speed.

When I narrowed in to watch the film on Ruggs, I was expecting to see a blazing fast WR with raw skills.

Nope.

Ruggs is about as skilled a WR as any coach could design. Not only is the dude lightning fast, he catches everything and he wears #11 (hmmm).

Then I was expecting him at 5-11, 193 to shy away from contact.

Nope.

This dude wears his big boy’s pants.

He loves running slants and crossers from the slot, because he knows that if gets a step on the CB, he could be off to the races. And when safeties zero in on him, if he doesn’t make them chew grass, he lowers his shoulder when he has to.

Check out what former NFL defensive end Stephen White wrote about Ruggs (plus check out the video examples):

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2020/3/31/21198008/henry-ruggs-iii-nfl-draft-2020-speed-wide-receiver-class-highlights-strengths

Yesterday when I watching the Alabama games versus South Carolina and Auburn, I was trying to keep my focus on DTs Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown.

But, Henry Ruggs stole the show.

Not Jerry Jeudy. Not Tua. Not Kinlaw. Not Brown.

In the South Carolina game, what stood out to me was that DeVonta Smith (8/136/2 TD) was Tua’s go-to WR in this game, then Ruggs.(6/122/1 TD), then Jerry Jeudy (6/68/0 TD).

When I flipped over to the Auburn game, by now Mac Jones was the QB so I figured he would be locked in on Smith and Jeudy, only to find that Ruggs was Jones’ go-to WR in this game (6/99/1 TD, another sweet TD called back on a penalty). Smith went 5/80/0 TD and Jeudy 5/26/0 TD.

To see how locked in Tua and Jones were on Ruggs and how Ruggs tracked the passes so fluidly and sure-handedly, I was immensely impressed.

Thus I started to wonder—-is Henry Ruggs the home run threat the offense needs in order to make it elite?

So, a mere minute after I posted my Kinlaw/Brown article yesterday, I clicked on a tweet where Dan Bickley is touting Ruggs as a potential jackpot pick—-and Bickley was sure to remind everyone how many pure speed merchant WRs in the 1st rounds of drafts have been busts—-but it seems Bickley had come to the same conclusion as I did—-there’s something Tyreek Hill kind of special about Ruggs, his blistering speed and his skillset that cannot be ignored.

Even as a rookie, Kyler Murray had the best deep pass percentage in the NFL.

The problem was—-he didn’t throw deep very often.

Ruggs could help change all of that—-not only for himself, but for the whole room of WRs.

Can you imagine how DeAndre Hopkins’ eyes would light up if the FS shades Ruggs?

But, I keep asking myself, what about Andy Isabella? He ran 4.31 at the 2019 NFL Combine and was insanely productive at UMass, even when getting double teamed multiple times a game.

I expect big things from Andy in year 2.

But there is a reason why Henry Ruggs is a bona fide early 1st round pick and Andy Isabella is a late 2nd rounder.

Ruggs plays taller, he runs a 4.27 that looks entirely effortless, he tracks a long ball like Willie Mays and his hands are superior.

Call me fascinated.

Juggs to Ruggs...

Could be the straightest and quickest path to the end zone the Cardinals have ever had.

  • As much as I love CeeDee Lamb, I think the Cardinals already have his ceiling in DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals’ were having trouble backing defenses off last year, it was like they were playing inside a 25 yard rectangle. This why Henry Ruggs is a better fit than CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy. He can blow that 25 yard rectangle to smithereens. Thus, think of how that opens the field up for Kyler and everyone else.
  • Imagine how sweet it would feel if the 49ers get shut out of the top 3 WR? if the Cardinals take Henry Ruggs, the Jets take Jerry Jeudy and the Raiders take CeeDee Lamb, mission accomplished!
  • I agree with Bucky Brooks—-Simmons, Ruggs or Chaisson. Reach for the stars, Cardinals! It’s a speed game in coverage and in getting to the QB.