WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama*

6’0” – 190 lbs.

Played sparingly as a freshman (12-229-6), then stepped into a major role the following year and put together two similar seasons of 46-741-11 (16.1) and 40-746-7 (18.6) over the past two years before declaring for the draft; also rushed for a 75-yard touchdown as a junior. Also returned twelve kickoffs last year. Lines up split out wide on both sides of the formation, most commonly on the right; overall size and length adequate for an outside receiver. As a two-year starter coming from one of the best-coached programs in the country, it should be no surprise that he has a polished game. Able to get good releases at the line of scrimmage, whether inside or outside; demonstrates good footwork and body control.  Plays with elite overall speed; capable of threatening defenses downfield and using that threat as a way to create other opportunities underneath. Plus route runner who eats up cushions in a hurry and then works back to the ball, sinking his hips well and demonstrating good footwork to create separation at the route stem. Gives his quarterback opportunities for timing-based throws on hitches, curls, and comebacks; good awareness and body control when working near the sidelines. Difficult to stick with when running shallow or deep crosses against man coverage, or on inside-outside double moves off of an inside release. Draws some double-coverage on his deep posts. Appears to have strong hands and some ability to adjust to throws away from his frame. Because of his speed, was often used as window dressing for rushing attempts or shots downfield, but it would have been nice to see him get some more chances to run with the ball, either as a runner or on swings and bubble screens; after the catch, has another gear to run away from defenders and exhibits a physical, no-nonsense approach. Can hit home runs off of shorter passes if he has some room to work with (see touchdown vs. South Carolina). Does things the right way as a blocker. Aggressive when stalking and physical into contact, with good arm extension. Speed allows him to successfully hunt down opposing defensive backs, fighting to sustain through the whistle. Wasn’t as big a part of the offense as fellow prospect Jerry Jeudy, and wasn’t quite as big or productive as some of the other highly-regarded receivers in this year’s class, but is a very good prospect in his own right, combining plenty of speed and explosiveness with reliable hands and excellent route-running and blocking skills. Looks like a first-round pick.

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