Mike Mayock to Raiders rookies: ‘You got to earn it in this league’

Henry Ruggs Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) attends an NFL football training camp practice Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher, Pool)

Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick, Henry Ruggs III, has been a fan-favorite on social media with his route-running and spectacular catches, but it’s still too early to know for sure whether he’ll enjoy the same kind of field-flipping success in the NFL that he had at Alabama.

General manager Mike Mayock, at least, isn’t ready to crown any of the Raiders’ rookies just yet.

“They’ve gotten a lot of pretty good press. a lot of people are patting them on the butt,” Mayock said over a zoom conference call Tuesday. “You know what? It’s not time to anoint anybody yet. This is what we talked about last year with Josh Jacobs and everybody else. You got to earn it in this league. We don’t have any preseason games to do it, which exaggerates the evaluation process for us. The snapshot of the rookies has been good. But that doesn’t mean anything. They got to compete on special teams, they got get off press coverage in a real game. There’s an awful long way to go before we anoint anybody in this rookie class.”

Mayock’s comments serve as something of a wet blanket, but he’s 100% on the money here. Year after year we see training camp stars flame out once the regular season rolls around, and the annual hype surrounding first-year players is always the highest.

Ruggs is going to be a stud. We know this. But he’s not there yet. His time will come (probably sooner than later), but until it does, let’s pump the brakes on comparing him to Tyreek Hill or some of the NFL’s established superstars.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on The Draft Network, NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

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