Henry Ruggs III might be the fastest player in the 2020 NFL Draft, regardless of position. Ruggs put his speed to good use at Alabama, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch over his three seasons with 24 touchdown receptions. Because of his speed, he could be the next Tyreek Hill for some team, but he's far from a finished product when it comes to playing the receiver position. But the physical tools and tantalizing upside means he's probably not going to have to wait too long to hear his name called during the first round.
Henry Ruggs III Draft Profile
Ruggs is probably the fastest player at any position in this draft, and he is legitimately in the Tyreek Hill/John Ross III class when it comes to pure long speed. He can stretch the field, and he has the ability to make plays once he gets to where he’s going. His ball-tracking skills are outstanding, and he shows tremendous body control when adjusting to the ball downfield. He also plays bigger than his listed size at the catch point, effectively stacking defenders when he slips behind them and doing a nice job getting his frame between the defender and the ball when he needs to. He’s an explosive leaper and will attack the ball at the catch point, with the strong hands to rip it down in contested-catch situations. He has short-area quickness as well, and he’s competitive in catch-and-run situations, with suddenness and power as a runner.
His route tree is a bit limited; at Alabama, he either stretched the field or got the ball on quick screens. He’s a fluid enough athlete that he can become a better route runner, but he needs to learn the nuances of setting up routes and creating leverage. He’ll also have to develop a better game plan against press coverage, as he was occasionally stuck in neutral coming off the line. He could stand to become more creative with the ball in his hands, as he was fairly straight-line-ish with the ball, trusting his speed.
Worst case, Ruggs is a complementary receiver who can blow the top off the defense, with the kind of big-play ability that demands attention from a safety. His skills can also be used on some manufactured gadget touches. If coached up, he could develop into a special player.
Final Grade: 1st round