Podcast: 49ers Carousel and Internal Free Agents →
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


NFL Draft: WR Henry Ruggs’ fit with the 49ers

Jason Aponte
Apr 9, 2020 at 12:00 PM


When the 49ers traded away stud defensive tackle Deforest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the 13th overall pick in 2020, fans began to salivate at the thought of drafting one of the big three receivers in a deep class. Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III are all ranked as the top three in the class, what order they are in is different depending on who you ask. I have Jeudy, Lamb, and Ruggs ranked in that order, but it's hard not to imagine what Ruggs can add to this offense.

Let's start with Ruggs' measurables: 5'11", 188 lbs, and runs a 4.27 40. Tyreek Hill is a frequent player comp for Ruggs as well as DeSean Jackson and (get ready for this one) Marquise Goodwin. Take a look back to 2018 against the Packers to see what Ruggs can bring to the offense.


The offense last season was missing Goodwin and his speed to force defenders over the top to open passing lanes in the middle of the field. With the maturity of Deebo Samuel in this offense, adding Ruggs as a home run threat will keep defensive coordinators up at night.

One play in particular from last season stuck out in my mind as a dream fit for Ruggs. Flashback to Week 11 against Arizona, with the team trailing and needing a spark, Kyle Shanahan dug into his bag of tricks.


Sending Richie James in motion then moving the pocket to create the throwback with blockers out in front was the perfect play to jump-start the struggling offense. These chunk plays can turn into touchdowns with Ruggs' speed. Shanahan didn't dial up many deep shots in 2019, which many view as playing to his players' strengths. If Ruggs is the pick at 13, expect to see more downfield shots.

One knock I've seen on Ruggs is his lack of college production. 98 catches in three seasons put him 61 catches behind Jeudy. Jeudy had nearly 200 targets combined in the past two seasons. Ruggs made the most of his 53 targets to average 18.7 yards per reception with 7 touchdowns. 24 of Ruggs' 98 total receptions were touchdowns. Is that good?

Here's one from last season which looks ripped right from Shanahan's playbook:


Running a slant is a simple route, but the breakaway speed is something special. Last season we saw Deebo Samuel take similar routes for touchdowns, imagine Ruggs in space with the ball in his hands.

One final play that I found from last season against Tennessee makes Ruggs look like a Tyreek Hill clone. He runs right past his defender with Jeudy in the slot next to him. The separation and catch is a mirror image of Hill and his skill set.


If the 49ers decide to stick with pick 13 and can land Jeudy, Lamb, or Ruggs, Niners fans should be excited. While I have Jeudy and Lamb ranked ahead of Ruggs, I'm certainly coming around to the idea of Ruggs being the ideal fit for the offense.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



NFL execs, agent ponder 49ers QB situation

By David Bonilla
Jan 30

Do the San Francisco 49ers need to do something drastic to get over the playoff hump that has plagued them for years? They reached the Super Bowl during the 2019 season but couldn't slam the door on the Kansas City Chiefs. They've come one win short of returning to the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons, including Sunday's NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. What's next for the 49ers' quarterback situation? One day into their offseason, the speculation seems to be running wild, especially after news broke that Brock Purdy, injured against the Eagles, suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his throwing



Nick Bosa wants to remain with 49ers, 'not necessarily' seeking to be NFL's highest-paid defender

By David Bonilla
Jan 31

Nick Bosa is the next San Francisco 49ers player in line to receive a big-time contract extension. Most expect the NFL Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner to become the NFL's highest-paid defender. But is that the talented pass rusher's goal? "Not necessarily," Bosa responded when asked that question on Tuesday. "We'll just see where it goes." One of his top priorities is remaining with the 49ers, the team that made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2019. "I'd love to be here, for sure," Bosa said. "This is a great organization. They treat you as good as [anyone] can. I have amazing relationships here, so hopefully [I stay], yeah." The defender isn't sweating the situation right now. He trusts the two sides will come to a mutually



Retirement? 49ers' Trent Williams hasn't decided on NFL future yet

By David Bonilla
Jan 31

Trent Williams knows the San Francisco 49ers roster has the talent to bounce back from Sunday's disappointing loss in the NFC Championship Game and have another impressive season in 2023. Will he be a part of it, though? Williams has been in the league since 2010, when Washington made him the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. The 49ers traded for him in 2020. He has twice been named a first-team All-Pro, is a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame offensive lineman, when that time comes. Could that be in five years, assuming he retires now? Has Williams, the best offensive lineman in the NFL, contemplated calling it a career? "I mean, it's a long



NFL fines 49ers' Trent Williams and Dre Greenlaw for unnecessary roughness vs. Eagles

By David Bonilla
Feb 4

The NFL has fined two San Francisco 49ers players—tackle Trent Williams and linebacker Dre Greenlaw—for unnecessary roughness in last weekend's NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Greenlaw was fined $10,430. Williams was hit with a $12,731 fine for the actions that led to his ejection late in the game. Update: Pro Football Talk reports that 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga was fined $4,916 for hitting Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts out of bounds late in the third


Featured

More by Jason Aponte

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone