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Raiders training camp: Henry Ruggs has a big day

The wide receiver takes advantage of Darren Waller being out

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders Training Camp
Henry Ruggs II
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This is a crucial year for Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.

The No. 12 overall draft pick (and first wide receiver selected) in the 2020 NFL draft has to make big strides after a less-than-stellar rookie season. The Raiders’ coaching staff was impressed by Ruggs, who added 13 pounds of muscle to his small frame, in the offseason and Ruggs has been solid in the early stages of camp.

On Tuesday, the speedy Alabama product had his most explosive day of training camp this summer as he took advantage of extra reps. The Raiders held out star tight end Darren Waller (who is essentially the team’s No. 1 receiver) and Ruggs had a big day in the spotlight.

He and quarterback Derek Carr connected on two long bomb pass plays. After practice, Las Vegas head coach Jon Gruden praised Ruggs and said the receiver is anticipating plays instead of reacting to them this year — unlike last season, in which he had just 26 catches in 13 games.

If this is a sign of things to come, it will be a major boost for the Raiders’ offense in 2021.