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Henry Ruggs is more than “just speed”

Stop the madness...

If you’re on social media or if you peruse the BGN comments, you’re eventually going to run across some interesting takes on Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. One of those takes that I couldn’t disagree with more comes from the “Ruggs is just a speed guy” crowd.

Typically when you hear or see these talking points enough, you figure they had to come from somewhere, but in this case it’s certainly not coming from league sources. I talked with Jon Ledyard from Pewter Report, who is covering the NFL Combine in Indy, about a host of topics and about the top tier of wide receivers specifically.

Here’s what Ledyard had to say on episode 7 of the 2020 BGN Draft specials about the Ruggs “only speed” take...

“I’m a little bit confused about the whole Ruggs narrative of just being speed... Who are the people that are starting, like, are there people with actual followings, like, draft backgrounds, that are starting the Henry Ruggs is just this- I don’t know where it came from and everybody I kind of know and trust all kind of agree that Ruggs is more than just speed. I think that NFL teams don’t have any question and to me it’s not any question.

The tier one is not Lamb and Jeudy, it’s Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs to me... Now I have Ruggs third in that list just because I do think Jeudy is a little bit more developed as a route runner, but Ruggs’ speed is such a trump card and he’s still a good route runner so it is really hard to distinguish between all those guys...

All three of them are going to be really good and whoever is the most productive will probably depend on scheme, how creatively their coach uses them and who their quarterback is moreso than one being clearly a better player than the other...”

Ledyard also advises those that doubt Ruggs’ complete game or ability at the catch-point to go back to his 2018 film, where he had more opportunities to make tough catches in the vertical third...

“One thing about Ruggs... his ball skills in 2018, people need to go back and check that out... Ruggs a year ago when he got a lot of vertical targets and had to go up and make plays on the ball, you saw ball skills, you saw those huge hands of his at work a lot, so I just think yeah there’s a complete receiver there for sure.”

I agree with Ledyard in that I see Ruggs as having a well-rounded game with a particularly special trump card. Is the speed aspect of his game the most alluring factor? Absolutely, the guy ran a 4.27 and was mad about it. Does he have more to offer than just being a deep threat? Again, absolutely.

We talk more about this and other NFL Combine takeaways from the wide receiver group on episode 7 of the 2020 BGN Draft specials! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen and subscribe to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!

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