Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs is a fast favorite in the first round

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

While a premature end to the Philadelphia Eagles’ season is without a doubt a bummer, drafting Henry Ruggs III would be one heck of a consolation prize.

Welp, it’s over. After a decade’s worth of ups and downs, the Philadelphia Eagles 2019 season is over.

While one could lament the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, curse Jadeveon Clowney‘s name, or just feel down in the dag ole dumps, there are a few glimmers of hope in what is otherwise a blacker-than-black hole of emotional devastation.

For one, the Eagles have found not one, but two legitimate offensive playmakers in Rookie of the Year candidate Miles Sanders and plug-‘n-play hero Boston Scott. The team also developed the best one-two tight end tandem the league has seen since you know who paired up with Gronk in New England.

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But most importantly of all, the Eagles landed the not insignificant 21st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

But who could the Eagles use the pick to acquire? With so many needs across the board from cornerback, to defensive tackle, to defensive end, to defens…. okay, the entire defense, who is an ideal target 20 picks into the first round?

Well, what if I were to tell you the very player the Eagles should make their top overall target declared for the draft on this very day? That’s right; we’re talking about Henry Ruggs III.

A three-year contributor at Alabama, Ruggs may very well be the fastest prospect in the nation, and could very well challenge current record holder – and a personal favorite – John Ross III for the combine’s 40-yard dash record.

Now granted, adding another speedster may be a bit of a luxury since DeSean Jackson will (presumably) be back in 2020 following a basically wasted season, but after 2019 it feels borderline emotionally abusive to go into a season without a deep threat backup plan.

Fortunately, Riggs isn’t just a burner, and if his performances at Bama are of any indication, he projects rather nicely in a receiving trio alongside Jackson and Alshon Jeffery – not to mention 2019’s other, other practice squad hero Greg Ward.

Ruggs can (obviously) beat defenders on a go-route, but he’s also fully capable of making plays in traffic, deploying out of the slot, take handoffs on a jet sweep, and even run a conventional route tree. When evaluating his highlight reel (here), I was taken aback by just how effortless Ruggs makes playing wide receiver, and his uncanny ability to stop on a dime, decelerate, and accelerate without missing a beat.

Is that a bit of a trick play? Sure, but it’s one heck of a trick.

Next. Passing on DK Metcalf was 2019’s original sin. dark

Look, we all know just how impactful DeSean Jackon was for the Birds in Week 1 and how long it took for Doug Pederson to reformulate his offense without that game-breaking speed, but at 33-years-old, it would be unreasonable to expect the once and future Eagles to be able to keep that going indefinitely. No, if 2019 taught Howie Roseman anything, it’s that depth and top-end talent win games, and adding Henry Ruggs could provide both for the low, low price of the 21st overall pick – that is, if he lasts that far.