Raiders pick speedy receiver Ruggs 12th overall

The Las Vegas Raiders’ first-ever draft pick was used on a wide receiver.

The Raiders selected former Alabama star Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall pick Thursday night.

He joins a Raiders team that needed receiver help. They had the 3rd fewest receptions (145) and 4th fewest receiving yards (1,858) by receivers in 2019.

Ruggs should help after being a human-highlight machine at Alabama, with his blazing speed producing big play after big pay.

The numbers said as much.

Of his 98 career receptions with the Tide, 24 ended in touchdowns, a 24.5 % clip that was the best in the SEC in the past 20 seasons (minimum 75 receptions). Some 35% of his catches went for at least 20 yards, the fourth-highest rate among wideouts in this year’s draft class (minimum 40 receptions).

That speed was on display at February’s NFL scouting combine, where Ruggs clocked a 4.27-second 40-time that was the fourth quickest there since 2006.

The 5-foot-11 Ruggs finished the college season with 40 catches for 746 yards, and had just one drop on catchable balls in that stretch.

With former teammate Jerry Jeudy also expected to be drafted, Alabama was poised to be the first school to produce multiple first-round wide receivers in the same draft since 2007 (Ohio State’s Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez). It’s only happened four times total in the draft since 1967.

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