Despite the Raiders’ recent struggles, the team still has a few promising players in its arsenal. However, in order for them to become more consistent and improve, they need to find the right pieces. Our last two prospects we looked at, Jordy Nelson and Kyzir White, didn’t quite pan out, but they are still young enough to grow into the role of a consistent starter, or at least a useful contributor.
Vegas is set to get a new team in 2021, and that means we as Raiders fans will be keeping our eyes on the draft to see who the new additions turn out to be. The team is expected to look young at the skill positions, especially wide receiver, with the addition of new additions during the offseason.
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, prospects showcased their talent to prospective NFL teams and fantasy football owners alike. Raiders fans should be happy to see that the Raiders have a wide receiver that is projected to be a top breakout player in the NFL next season. The Raiders future starting wide receiver, and the player that I believe will breakout next season is Cooper Rush.
In 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders finished second in the AFC West with an 8-8 record. In total offense, Jon Gruden’s team placed ninth in the NFL. The Raiders were unable to finish with a winning record and therefore missed the playoffs due to their weak defense. The offense will have to keep putting points up on the board. The receiving corps will have to step up in order for this to happen. Here are the wide receivers on the Raiders that have a chance to make an impact in 2021.
Ruggs, Henry III
The Raiders chose Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Prior to the draft, the Crimson Tide star attracted a lot of interest.
Ruggs established a reputation for himself at Alabama by making big plays with his speed and general athleticism. In three seasons with the Tide, he caught 98 receptions for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns. The solo tunes aren’t very memorable, but he collaborated with Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle.
In his first season in Las Vegas, Ruggs struggled. He appeared in 12 games, catching 26 passes for 452 yards and two scores. He struggled to remain on the field and was outplayed by a number of later-drafted receivers.
Ruggs’ world-class speed must be used by the Raiders, who must discover new methods to send him out in space. If he doesn’t, he’ll be labeled a failure.
Bryan Edwards is a writer who lives in the United States
In the end zone, Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs III, Zay Jones, and Renfrow, Hunter celebrate | Getty Images/Henry H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post
Bryan Edwards’ name has been mentioned a lot this summer. Edwards is a sophomore wide receiver hoping to break through in 2021. He was selected in the third round of the 2020 draft by the Raiders out of South Carolina.
In four seasons with the Gamecocks, Edwards has 234 catches for 3,045 yards and 22 touchdowns. The Conway, South Carolina native is a prolific collegiate player with a nice mix of height and strength. Despite his lack of top-end speed, he has proved to be a downfield danger.
He, like Ruggs, failed to make an impression as a rookie. Edwards played in 12 games, although just three of them were starts. He only had 11 receptions for 193 yards and one score. Edwards is projected to be the Raiders’ No. 1 outside receiver after the Raiders dismissed John Brown.
Coming out of camp, Edwards has received a lot of good feedback. Given his stature, he should be second in line for red-zone targets after Darren Waller.
After a battle with All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey during training camp, Hunter Renfrow made headlines. The Rams cornerback went to Twitter to deny that Renfrow was having a bad day.
The former Clemson Tiger is in his third season with the Raiders. In two seasons, he has caught 105 receptions for 1,261 yards and six touchdowns. Renfrow is a highly underappreciated receiver who usually plays out of the slot.
With quarterback Derek Carr, the 25-year-old has established chemistry. On third downs, he’s proved to be a dependable target for the quarterback. Renfrow is a competent route runner who can make crucial plays when his number is called. He’s been doing it since his Clemson days.
He doesn’t have the same potential as Ruggs and Edwards, but his significance in this offense can’t be overlooked. He’ll have a part to play, and his objectives may continue to grow.
Zay Jones of the Las Vegas Raiders takes the field before a game | Al Pereira/Getty Images
Zay Jones has the best chance of being the Raiders’ breakthrough receiver in 2021, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. He’ll be on the field because Jon Gruden loves him.
Jones was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL Draft. The second-round pick has failed to take the next step in his professional career. In 2018, he had his finest season with the Bills, catching 56 passes for 652 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jones joined the Raiders for the 2019 season, but he has never been a major contributor to the offense. He may not be a starter, but if he makes plays when he is on the field, he will be given more opportunities.
By no means is the East Carolina product a game-changer, but he does his job. He is capable of running routes on all three levels. Jones’ flexibility will undoubtedly provide him with some chances in this scheme.
Predicting the Raiders’ breakthrough wide outs
The dismissal of John Brown secures Bryan Edwards’ starting position, and he has a good chance of becoming the #2 target after Waller.
Carr thinks he’s like Davante Adams and compares him to him.
— Connor, August 31, 2021 (@ConbonNFL)
All four wide receivers listed by the Raiders will have chances to make plays. Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders like pushing the ball down the field.
Edwards seems to have the best chance of breaking out in 2021. We haven’t seen him in the preseason, implying that he’s a lock to start and play a key part in the Las Vegas offense. His first season was a letdown, so he’ll be looking for a rebound.
Although Ruggs is a burner, Edwards should be able to create plays without the coaches’ help. In year two, Ruggs may make a leap, although Edwards’ stature can cause problems.
Edwards should be the man if just one option is available.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
RELATED: Jon Gruden’s Disgraceful Win-Loss Record Since 2018 Confirms That He Is the Raiders’ Biggest Issue
As is the case with any team, sometimes you can go years without seeing a player become a superstar for the first time. However, if you’re a fan of the Las Vegas Raiders, that drought would seem to be bound to come to an end sooner rather than later. And with the right draft picks, one or two of the team’s wideouts could go on to become perennial All-Pros.. Read more about las vegas raiders offensive line and let us know what you think.
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