Name: Henry Ruggs III
Position: Wide Receiver
NFL Grade: 6.72 ("Year 1 Quality Starter")
Stats: Ruggs finished his three-year Alabama career ranked third on the school's all-time touchdowns list with 24. Across his career, he had a 17.5 yards-per-catch average and averaged a team-high 18.6 yards per catch his junior season in 2019. Last year, he caught 40 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns, splitting work with fellow first-round prospect Jerry Jeudy. It was Ruggs' second year eclipsing 740 yards receiving and followed his sophomore year that saw him score 11 touchdowns. He also played on special teams as a kick returner, taking back 12 kickoffs for 286 yards. His best game came against New Mexico State where he tallied a total of 160 all-purpose yards, including rushing for a 75-yard touchdown on the opening play of the game.
Comments: Ruggs not only had a great collegiate career at an NFL player factory under Nick Saban, but also tested well at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this year. He ran a blazing 4.27 40-yard dash and leaped to a 42-inch vertical jump. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has this to say about the former member of the Crimson Tide:
"Ruggs' speed alone helps both the running and passing games because it forces safeties into more passive positioning," wrote Zierlein. "He can work all three levels and his ability to turn slants and crossing routes into big gainers could make him the favorite gift under the tree for a quarterback and offense in need of an explosive weapon. He has quick, sure hands to handle off-target throws, but learning to release, separate and catch against physical NFL cornerbacks could require an adjustment period. He won't rack up the targets, but has explosive speed and talent to imprint on games with regularity."
Zierlein compares Ruggs to the Saints' Ted Ginn Jr. and lists one of his major strengths as his 'game-breaking speed that requires safety help at all times.' That speed certainly shows up on the highlight reel, as well.
The Bucs are likely to add a receiver at some point in the draft given Breshad Perriman's departure in free agency. Though, Tampa Bay is better off than most with its top two wideouts receiving Pro Bowl selections last year in both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Ruggs' price tag may be too steep as he could be one of the first receivers off the board and the Bucs have higher priorities than bolstering their receiving corps.