Henry Ruggs, the first wide receiver taken in the NFL Draft, made his Raiders debut Sunday, and his speed, well, it was apparent. Heck, his first NFL catch went for 45 yards.
Josh Jacobs wasn’t surprised. He and Ruggs, of course, were teammates at Alabama, so he’s certainly familiar with Ruggs’ work.
“Oh man, when the guy’s not running his full speed, he’s still the fastest player on the field,” Jacobs said on Tiki & Tierney. “It’s crazy to see it.”
Raiders tight end Darren Waller knows all about it. In August, he said Ruggs is as fast as a roach when the lights turn on.
“You’ll see him turn it on, you see him bend the corner, and you just catch yourself just watching like a fan,” Jacobs said. “The dude really has great hands, and he’s very physical. I don’t think he gets as much credit for that as he should, but he will put his nose in blocks and everything. I appreciate that about him.”
Ruggs’ blazing speed – and tough blocking – should open up plenty of opportunities for his teammates, including Jacobs, who rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns in the Raiders’ season-opening 34-30 win in Carolina on Sunday. Jacobs also flashed his chops as a receiver, hauling in four catches for 46 yards.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden said the performance reminded him of Walter Payton.
“We have a great relationship,” Jacobs said of Gruden. “He texts me all the time. He sends me videos. He sends me other running backs and tries to motivate me and give me inspiration. I told him at the beginning of camp, ‘Man, I need you to push me. I push myself a lot, but if you see something, be on me about it.’ That’s just the kind of relationship we have. We talk to each other about a lot of things on and off the field. I love playing for him.”