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Mayock: Speed distinguished Henry Ruggs among WRs

With the Raiders in the market for a receiver, they were in position to choose the one they preferred most, as the consensus top three of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III were all still on the board by the 12th pick.

They opted for the fastest, and they're not afraid to admit it. Al Davis would be proud to see Ruggs in silver and black.

"All three wide receivers we felt were diverse and would bring different things to the Raiders and I feel like Coach [Jon] Gruden and that offensive staff is so good they could have gotten the most out of all three of them," Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters, per the team website. "However, the distinguishing factor really was his speed, his explosion and his work ethic."

Picking Ruggs was so Raiders, what with their long history of coveting quickness and the Alabama product recently clocking the best 40 at the combine (4.27). For longtime fans of the franchise, the hope is he's more Cliff Branch than Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Don't tell that to Ruggs, though. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound wideout asserted in his first press conference as a pro that he can "do more than just run."

"I'm very confident that I can play anywhere and do anything," Ruggs said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. "I'm not afraid to show that I'm ready for any challenge, any assignment and any competition. ...

"I'm an explosive playmaker and can be a great receiver. And I don't think anyone wants it as much as I want it. I definitely think I can open up the offense. I think I'm going to make a positive impact [right away] and stretch things out with my speed."

Mayock agrees. He's been on the job as Gruden's confidante for just 16 months yet has already assembled one of the more dynamic offensive personnel groups in the NFL. He explained that the decision to take Ruggs had as much to do with how he'll impact Las Vegas' other weapons, including former college teammate Josh Jacobs.

"He can run the deep routes. He also gets the manufactured touches, the bubble screens, the jet sweeps," Mayock said. "I think if you force defenses to roll coverage, it opens up our run game. You respect our deep routes, it opens up Darren Waller. I just think it does an awful lot of things for us offensively and I think the most important thing is I think Coach Gruden and the staff will get everything out of him."

That would make Ruggs an ideal inaugural selection for Las Vegas, and a new proxy for this century's Raiders.

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