Dropped Passes Indicative of Several Raiders Issues

Dropped passes killed momentum for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019. If they’re to take a step forward, that must improve.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had his best season in 2016 when he had a talented and balanced offensive roster around him. That year, Carr had two 1,000-yard receivers at his disposal. That’s not a knock on Raiders players post-2016, but the receiver room has been devoid of talent ever since. One of the biggest pieces of evidence for this claim are the dropped passes which have plagued the Silver and Black since that fateful season.

Related: Raiders WR Tyrell Williams Could Join the Trade Block in 2020

The drops themselves are actually two-fold in what they mean for the team. One way to look at it is how the drops prevented the team from moving the chains at crucial game junctions. The other way the issue presents itself is by showing the lack of depth the Raiders had at wide receiver last season. The latter was the reason general manager Mike Mayock went all-in on drafting offensive weapons last month.

Don’t Drop That Pass

The five most noteworthy culprits for drops in 2019 were Tyrell Williams (5), Darren Waller (5), Hunter Renfrow (4), Jalen Richard (3), and DeAndre Washington (3). For starters, the Raiders did not retain Washington so right there you have an example of addition by subtraction. Williams’ drops are indicative of being relied on as the top target after the Antonio Brown debacle. By drafting Henry Ruggs III, the Raiders take the pressure off Williams, which could lead to lesser targets but fewer drops in theory. Waller for his part was Carr’s go-to target after being the revelation of the 2019 season. Renfrow also emerged as one of the more reliable targets the Raiders had in 2019. Moving forward it’s unlikely he’ll be plagued by drops. The latter two get a pass, for now.

Moving Forward

Richard had the fifth-most for drops in 2019, which is more emblematic of a lack of talent at receiver. A backup running back shouldn’t be in your top five for targets and drops simultaneously. The over-reliance on Richard should start to settle down this season with the additions of Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. The sudden depth at wide receiver should translate into Carr distributing the ball more evenly amongst the roster. In fact, both Washington and Richard were within the Raiders top five targeted receivers. If the Raiders want to move the ball down the field in 2020, that will have to quickly change.

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*Top Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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