As the NFL revealed the Pro Bowl roster for 2020, there was one glaring snub. We’re talking about Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
The NFL overlooking Raiders players and their contributions shouldn’t surprise folks, yet some will consider this an outrage. Waller had a career year in Oakland this season after overcoming personal demons, even locking up a new contract in the process.
By The Numbers
Waller became quarterback Derek Carr’s go-to receiver and the numbers don’t lie. So far in 2019, the tight end has been targeted 103 times, notched 80 of those, and scored three touchdowns. Oh and don’t forget, flying under the radar, he became a 1,000 yard receiver. Averaging 12.5 yards a reception and a 77.7% catch percentage means he’ll be the man for the Raiders with or without Carr under center.
Who Did He Get Overlooked For?
What’s the tougher pill to swallow for Raider Nation? The fact that Waller was snubbed or that Travis Kelce of the Chiefs got in? Numbers don’t lie here either. Kelce has 86 receptions, four touchdowns, and has 1,131 receiving yards. Oh, and his team is headed to the postseason. Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens got in ahead of Waller despite lower numbers. Andrews has accumulated 759 receiving yards off of 58 receptions, however, he does have eight touchdowns to his name.
Interestingly enough, and no I’m not suggesting the obvious, Raiders tight end Foster Moreau has five touchdowns off of 21 receptions. That’s one more touchdown than Kelce. If the voting was based off touchdowns, then Moreau would get in before Waller. Obviously, it’s not. But then again who really does understand what a Pro Bowl nod requires, is it touchdowns? Team record?
I think it goes without saying but the fact that the Chiefs and Ravens are in the postseason has to play a role. Ravens broke the record with 12 selections and deservedly so with the season they’re having.
Even if Waller didn’t get in this year, the sun in shining on this young man. Before it’s all said and done, Waller will be a Pro Browler, maybe even a multiple time recipient. We’ll have to wait and see.