The Raiders selected two for-sure receivers and another will play some receiver time in last month’s draft.
Las Vegas plans to use this trio of players, all of whom were taken within the first three rounds, extensively as rookies. They need them all to inject some explosion and playbook diversity into the offense.
But remember, rookie receivers often take time to develop. It is not an instant position in the NFL.
Josh Dubow of the Associated Press tweeted out this reminder, and check out the stats:
There have been 32 WRs drafted in 1st round past 10 years. Avg production as rookies: 41 catches, 554 yards, 4 TDs.— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) May 2, 2020
A.J. Green, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Kelvin Benjamin, Odell Beckham all topped 1,000 yards. A.J. Jenkins and John Ross had 0 catches. How will Ruggs, Aiyuk fare?
The recent statistical trend suggests that all rookie receivers, including the Raiders’ Henry Ruggs II, Bryan Edwards and Lynn Bowden (who will mostly line up as a running back) will take time to develop.
That doesn’t mean they won’t be great as rookies.
Amari Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 as a rookie for the Raiders in 2015. Last year, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow ended up with 49 catches for 605 yards as a rookie in 13 games. Renfrow started fairly slow, but flourished toward the end of the season. He had 35 in the final even games he played.
So, each NFL rookie receiver develops at his own pace. But this trends shows you, instant major impact is not a given.