Mike Mayock used to be a staple of Draft Day coverage for NFL consumer. But now the man dons silver and black on draft weekend and spend it hid away in the Raiders’ war room.
While it doesn’t look like there will be formal war rooms this year, we are again left without Mayock’s services. He, instead, will be helping try to turn around a Raiders franchise that hasn’t been a true part of the AFC conversation since the Tuck Rule game.
But in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock, it is not Mayock that will be running the show for the Raiders. That honor, instead, goes to commenter Zach Kadolph. Here he is with the 12th pick in the draft.
“With the 12th pick in the 2020 POD Community Mock Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders, channeling the late Al Davis, select the fastest player from the 2020 NFL Combine: wide receiver, Henry Ruggs III, Alabama.
While the secondary may be a greater need, it will have to wait until later in the draft. With Justin Herbert on the board, as well as Rugg’s more accomplished college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, this was not an easy decision.
Cutting Derek Carr could free up $13.6 million in cap space, but the signing of Marcus Mariota signals the front office may not be sold on Herbert as the successor to Carr, despite their recent Zoom call. The Raiders’ problems at QB may be related more to a lack of talent surrounding him. The Raiders have not had a true No. 1 WR since trading Amari Cooper in 2018, despite the addition of Tyrell Williams and late-round selection Hunter Renfrow. General Manager Mike Mayock alluded to that in a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“We don’t have enough outside speed. People started to load up on Josh [Jacobs] and Darren [Waller]. Our offensive line is a big, strong, tough group that we’re happy with. But let’s be honest. If we’re going to take it to another level, that position has to get better.”
Rugg’s speed is certainly well documented, but his massive 10 1/8” hands show up on tape as well having only dropped two passes total in his last two years at Alabama. Jeudy may be more polished, but Henry Ruggs III has only played organized football for five years after starting as a true freshman at Alabama. He isn’t just a straight-line speed guy either. Henry grew up playing basketball until his best friend Roderic Scott, who tragically passed away in a car accident, convinced him to play football for the first time as a junior in high school. He can make contested catches and win jump balls. His 42” vertical is on full display in his high school dunk mixtape:
This Henry Ruggs dunk mixtape from high school is NASTY— ESPN (@espn) March 1, 2020
(via @Hudl) pic.twitter.com/uQ4aBgF87a
While it’s rare players can catch him, he isn’t afraid of contact.
With their primary target last year being TE Darren Waller and the addition of Jason Witten, the Raiders find the last piece to their offense. Daniel Jeremiah called Ruggs “the closest thing to Tyreek Hill that I’ve seen since Tyreek Hill entered the league … He’s so sudden off the line of scrimmage. It’s instant death for corners.”
While it may take some time to develop his route tree, as a rookie, his speed should help take the top off the defense and open things underneath for Josh Jacobs. Even though this class is deep at WR, there are only so many guys with 4.2 speed. With the weapons now at his disposal, this may be Derek Carr’s first and last shot in Allegiant Stadium.”
Catch up with all the picks from our POD Community Mock here.
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