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Examining draft props related to Alabama WR Henry Ruggs

The 2020 NFL Draft offers one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory. Jerry Jeudy, the most productive receiver on college football’s most dominant program, has been thought of as the leader of this class, with CeeDee Lamb, who was more productive than Jeudy during his three college seasons, close behind. Justin Jefferson, Laviska Shenault Jr., Tee Higgins, Jalen Reagor and Denzel Mims can all make a case to be first-round picks, as well.

Then there is Henry Ruggs. When George Chahouri and I posted our first analytics mock draft last month, the biggest head-scratcher for people was Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs at No. 4 overall to the New York Giants.

Not only were people upset that a wide receiver was going to the Giants (ahead of Chase Young and before any offensive linemen), but people were specifically tilted at the idea that the receiver was Ruggs. However, using our college-to-pro projection system, Ruggs (by a narrow margin) was the preferred choice to any other receiver for a couple of reasons, namely:

  • His athleticism score ranked in the 97.5th percentile among wide receivers in the PFF era
  • He mostly lined up wide at Alabama, and his attack zones translate to the NFL more robustly than those of some of his contemporaries
Feb 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Henry Ruggs Iii (WO48) run the 40-yard dash during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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