2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Henry Ruggs III

Height:  6’0

Weight:  190 lbs

 

Five Star Prospect by 247 Sports
2017 All-SEC Freshman Team
2019 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watchlist

 

Henry Ruggs III is a junior wide receiver for the University of Alabama.  Considered by many to be the fastest player in college football and could set the record in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.  In this scouting report, we’ll take a look at Ruggs III and evaluate his future as an NFL wide receiver.

 

 

What I Like

Explosiveness and Burst

This play is a prime example of why Henry Ruggs III is likely to set a new 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine.  Ruggs III has elite explosiveness and burst, as displayed here.  Ruggs III hits his second gear to navigate through traffic and elude four defenders before using his very good top end speed to outrun a fifth defender.

 

 

What I Dislike

Limited Ability To Create Separation At Line Of Scrimmage

Henry Ruggs III has a smaller frame than most, which limits his ability to fight for separation at the LOS.  Instead, Ruggs III has to settle for creating separation with his feet and using the cushion given by the defender to his advantage, which he’s still pretty raw at executing. 

 

 

Where I’ve Seen Improvement

Downfield Blocking

I’ve seen more consistency from Henry Ruggs III in his downfield blocking ability.  On this play, Ruggs III sets a wide base with his feet, maintains balance, and drives through the defender to open up a small hole for the ballcarrier to run through for good positive yardage.

 

 

Overall Breakdown

Henry Ruggs III has a smaller frame, although it’s solid for a slot WR.  Has elite athletic ability, explosiveness, and burst.  He’s a pure athlete.  Has elite speed that he uses to stay ahead of the ballcarrier and make blocks downfield.  Has good ability to maintain his blocks and drive through defenders.  Uses feet and speed to create separation at LOS, although he’s undersized and very raw at doing so.  Defenders consistently respect his speed and play off-man coverage.  Has a good catching radius and good natural hands.  Has a very good ability to get upfield quickly from screens, flat routes, or crossing routes.

Has an undersized frame that could work against him at the next level to fight through pressure and create consistent separation.  Adequate ability to block on the LOS.  Works best between the numbers, but extremely limited along sidelines or when fighting through press coverage.

 

 

2020 NFL Draft Projection

Late-First to Mid-Second Round

Henry Ruggs III is going to rise up draft boards on speed alone.  He’s a raw prospect with a limited route tree, but is a stellar slot WR.  I have other receivers ahead of him on my draft board, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him off the board and headed to a team with the need for an inside receiver.

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