Jets GM Joe Douglas has said multiple times that rebuilding the team’s offensive line was the main priority this offseason, but when it comes to the team’s 11th overall pick in the 2020 draft, could Gang Green bypass a lineman for a wide receiver?
It sounds like Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs III could be making a very strong case.
Heading into this year’s NFL Combine, there was a report that the Jets “have had their eyes on him for a while,” and his 4.27 40-yard-dash time certainly didn’t hurt Ruggs’ draft stock.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who spent years working in NFL personnel departments with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles recently spoke with Steve Serby of the New York Post, and he gave the Alabama speedster a strong endorsement.
“He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Tyreek Hill,” Jeremiah told The Post. “I would say he’s probably got better hands. The play speed is very comparable. Tyreek Hill may be a little bit stronger. I think Ruggs is more advanced as a receiver coming out, and obviously doesn’t come with any of the character issues that were there.”
Jeremiah currently has Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb as his top-ranked receiver heading into April’s draft, and while Ruggs’ Alabama teammate Jerry Jeudy also has a strong chance of being the first receiver taken off the board, Jeremiah could see a scenario in which a team — perhaps even the Jets — could see Ruggs as the best receiver available.
“It would not shock me at all if he was the first one to go because he just changed the whole dynamic of your offense,” Jeremiah said of Ruggs, who caught 98 passes for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns during his three-year career with the Crimson Tide.
“I think you could make a strong case that his speed would really open things up in that (Jets) offense as well.”