As we saw throughout the 2019 season, and especially as the season went on, the Eagles have a serious inability to consistently take the top off the defense. Now, a lot of this could be contributed to the rosters’ depletion, due to injury. However, even with a healthy team, this team still has a lack of consistent deep threats, and even less so when we look into the near future. The only real starting caliber wide receiver that can create separation down field is DeSean Jackson, who turned thirty-three in December and has had some injury history. If this team wants to be able to create some big plays downfield for this offense, they are going to need to invest into some dynamic players in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
One of these such players, and one of the most explosive players to come out in the past few years, is Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs, who declared on January 6th, was one of the fastest players that college football had seen in the entire decade. Scouts and fans alike were thrilled by his insane speed and explosiveness, blowing by talented corners without any effort. Whenever he was on the field, he was a big play just waiting to happen, due to no one being able to match his speed deep down the field. At the 2019 Alabama Crimson TIde pro day, Henry Ruggs ran the 40, and blew away scouts with his insane time. It was estimated that he ran around 4.25, which would be one of the fastest times the NFL Scouting Combine had ever seen. For reference, the record, which is held by John Ross, is 4.22. The record could be in very real danger come the Combine in the spring.
However, is he just a player who relies on his speed, and does not bring anything else to the table? In short, no. He had a very productive career at Alabama with not a ton of volume, given he shared the field with the other talented Bama receivers. In only 100 touches, he would leave Alabama with 1,791 total yards, 25 total touchdowns, and an insane 17.91 yards per touch. He’s talented at the line of scrimmage and with his routes to create initial separation, then his godly speed and acceleration allows him to get down the field, and create big plays. He’s not just a deep threat either. He’s very good with the ball in his hands, as he can create more plays by breaking tackles, and weaving through the open field to pick up more yards. He can turn a slant or a screen into a 50 yard touchdown by breaking a tackle, or simply by outrunning the defense.
Clearly, he would be of great help to Carson Wentz and the rest of this Eagles offense. Too many times has this team struggled to get any consistent deep passing game, and that can change with Henry Ruggs III added to the huddle. Ruggs speed alone will command a safety to help, which of course helps open up the rest of the field for the rest of the team. He will never be a high volume player, but he can be a consistent high end deep threat for this team, which is something this team has needed. Ruggs can be the piece to take this offense to the next level, and help this team have a more consistent offensive attack.