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Silver Minings: Did Raiders let down Henry Ruggs in 2020?

NFL analyst thinks the team should take responsibility for poor rookie season

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders
Henry Ruggs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of production by Las Vegas Raiders’ wide receiver Henry Ruggs during his rookie season in 2020 was well-documented.

Ruggs, the No. 12 overall draft pick and first receiver taken in a receiver-rich draft, had just 26 catches and was extremely inconsistent and didn’t make much of an impact.

Ruggs must take a large step forward in 2021. However, PFF NFL analyst Sam Monson pointed out on Twitter that the Raiders share the responsibility for Ruggs’ poor rookie season as much as the player does.

It’s an interesting take. If you look at Ruggs’ targets last year, Monson’s claim has some weight. The Raiders did seem to forget about him at points of the season. He was targeted more than three times a game in just five games.

The Raiders appear to know they must increase Ruggs’ presence. At the recent minicamp, Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden said the team needs to use Ruggs — who is one of the fastest players in the NFL — more than simply a decoy.

“We don’t want Ruggs to just be threat,” Gruden said. “We’d like him to be on the receiving end of a lot of those threats. So, we’re trying to get him more and more involved in the pass offense, and so far, so good.”

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Top coaches: Warren Sharp looks at the best starts by Raiders’ coaches in team history.
  • Coaches rankings: CBS Sports looks at the best coaches in the NFL. Does Gruden make the cut?
  • Top players under 25: Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs is on this list of the top NFL players under the age of 25. The third-year player turned 23 in February.
  • RB preview: The Athletic looks at the Raiders’ 2021 running backs.