Henry Ruggs ran a 4.27 at the NFL Scouting Combine, but owner Mark Davis saw enough of the receiver at Alabama to know that’s who the Raiders needed.
Ruggs reminds Davis of his late friend, Cliff Branch, who made 501 catches for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns, an average of 17.3 yards per reception.
“Henry Ruggs was the player I wanted for the last six months,” Davis told Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. “My dad was always trying to replace Cliff with so many different types of guys. . . . Speed, speed, speed, and we really got away from that the last five, six, seven years. We really didn’t have anybody that could run. Nobody could run.
“I watched Henry Ruggs and his speed and quickness and his strength were pretty impressive. And then if you see his baseball highlights, my God. He made some nice tackles on interceptions, and he’ll block, too. He is a complete player. I was just so thrilled that we drafted him. Maybe that’s the piece that we haven’t had that’s Raiders football. You throw it deep the first play and the safety is worried the whole game.”
The Raiders made Ruggs the 12th overall choice after he caught 98 passes for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career at Alabama.