Pro Football Focus Analyst Anthony Treash came out with an excellent article this week detailing what he believes to be the best-case scenarios for all 32 NFL teams in this year’s draft. The article is essentially a compilation of potential prospects each team needs to avoid or strive for later this month. When it comes to the 49ers, Treash believes they need to hit a home-run with the 13th-overall pick by making sure they get Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
Ruggs III has been a popular prospect to pair with the Niners this draft season, making appearances at 13 on multiple occasions for past mocks by PFF, ESPN, and others. Treash continues that trend, stating that the speed demon should be the Niners’ number one priority on day one.
Henry Ruggs with the acrobatic, one-handed catch pic.twitter.com/61uzdXoDcT— Receiver Life (@ReceiverLife_) April 8, 2020
Here’s what Treash had to say about the scenario:
“There are really only two glaring needs on this Niners roster: Another wide receiver to replace Emmanuel Sanders and another cornerback to compete with Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley. The latter is something they can address with their 31st overall pick. They are in a good position to possibly snag either Jeudy, Lamb, or Ruggs 13th overall thanks that great trade with Indianapolis. The most likely scenario is them getting Ruggs, who would be a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Ruggs’ most targeted routes, excluding screens, over the last two seasons were the in, slant, and crosser (Jimmy Garoppolo led the NFL in target percentage to those routes). The success Ruggs had on those routes this past year is pretty insane — on 20 such targets in 2019, Ruggs caught 15 and averaged 26.5 yards per catch and 15.2 yards after the catch per reception, generating 11 explosive plays in the process.”
Treash’s reasoning for the pick does make perfect sense. The Niners are in need of another wideout, and they might as well go after the guy who has shown to be very successful at all the routes that make this offense go.
Ruggs started 12 contests in 2019, catching 40 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns, including another 75-yard score on an end-around. One of the most well-recorded stats of his time in Tuscaloosa is that Ruggs III scored a touchdown on one out of every four touches. Literally. Now, who knows what those numbers would have looked like if Ruggs III was a true number one, but I could guarantee they’d still be pretty staggering.
Wide Receiver #1— Grizz - Raider of the North (@Grizz_NFL) April 11, 2020
Henry Ruggs III from Alabama pic.twitter.com/y1LYImwx34
I think I already know the answer to the following questions, but I want to turn this to you all. Is Ruggs III truly the best-case scenario for the 49ers? Or is there another player you would prefer at #13?