Henry Ruggs III didn’t exactly live up to expectations through his rookie season with Las Vegas in 2020.
Logging just 452 yards and two touchdowns on the year, the former No. 12 overall draft pick has acknowledged that he needs to perform better in this coming season with the Raiders.
One way he hopes to increase his production is by tacking on some extra muscle mass.
During a training camp press conference on Wednesday, the slight-framed receiver told reporters that he’s gained about 13 pounds over this offseason alone.
“It was my focus. It’s a man’s game now and I’m not the biggest guy, but I have to get to where I can compete with grown men now,” Ruggs said, per ProFootballTalk. “So that was one of my biggest things that I hammered on was getting bigger, eating all the time, and just hammering down in the weight room. And people [have been] saying I look noticeably bigger, so I guess it’s paying off.”
Henry Ruggs III said he gained about 13 pounds this offseason. He made it a goal to get stronger in order to become a more physical player, both in the passing and running game.
— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) July 28, 2021
During the NFL Combine in 2020, Ruggs weighed in at 188 pounds. If the 13-pound gain starts at that mark, the second-year WR should weigh somewhere around 200 pounds heading into the 2021 season.
While Ruggs feels this added weight will help him improve as a physical force off the line (blocking, contested catches), he doesn’t want to stray too far from the “little-guy things” that got him into the league (speed, agility).
“Even in the weight room, you work on different things, but when you’re gaining weight, you still have to do the little-guy things that I’m known for,” Ruggs added. “So, still hammered on those things and just got better in the things that I needed to work on.”
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, a fellow little-guy wide receiver, took a similar path as Ruggs prior to last season. After playing through his rookie season at 166 pounds, Brown added 23 pounds in just two months before the 2020 season.
Incoming Eagles rookie DeVonta Smith may be on a similar path as well, weighing in at 166 pounds during this year’s combine.