In simple terms, the key to improvement for Las Vegas Raiders’ second-year wide receiver Henry Ruggs in 2021 is getting (and that means earning) more targets.
Josh Dubow of the Associated Press showed these stats, via Sportradar, of all of Ruggs’ different routes he ran as a rookie in 2020.
Per @sportradar, types of routes Ruggs ran and how he fared on targets:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) April 1, 2021
Flat: 53 (6 for 6)
Out: 41 (5-5)
Go: 37 (6-13)
Curl: 34 (1-1)
Slant: 24 (0-2)
In: 22 (2-4)
Cross: 19 (3-4)
WR Screen: 18 (2-2)
Corner: 16 (1-4)
Comeback: 12 (0-0)
Underneath screen: 8 (0-0)
Other: 22 (0-0) https://t.co/T6hvMRS23H
What was glaring was the lack of targets that Ruggs — the first receiver taken in the draft last year at No. 12 — got on these routes. As Dubow pointed out in the next tweet, Ruggs’ target percentage was extremely low ... almost alarmingly so.
Exactly. Ruggs was targeted on 12.2% of the passing plays he was on the field for per @sportradar, lowest among 1st/2nd round rookies last season. Next lowest was Pittman at 16%. On #Raiders Waller was at 24.2%, Renfrow 20%, Agholor 18.4%. https://t.co/LFCYxADLct— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) April 1, 2021
Ruggs had just 26 catches as a rookie in a season where several rookies at the position made a large impact. While Ruggs has to improve in many areas, it starts with targets and that’s on him as much as anything. It wasn’t as if Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr was ignoring Rugs all of last season.
Ruggs has to make most of his routes count (as Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden said last season) and get open on a more consistent basis. This route/target rate can’t be happen again.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Rodgers talk starts The San Jose Mercury News News reports Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could end up with the Raiders or Denver Broncos at some point. Here we go.
- Moehrig is the pick: In the latest Todd McShay mock, the Raiders take TCU safety Trevon Moehrig at No. 17.
- Mail time: The Athletic has a Raiders’ mailbag.