The Las Vegas Raiders had a talented tight end group in 2019. That should continue to be the case in 2020 with the addition of veteran Jason Witten. The unit as a whole was responsible for a high amount of the team’s offense last year. It will likely be the same case this upcoming season.
Darren Waller had a career year in 2019 with 90 catches, for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. Although Foster Moreau was more of a blocker than a pass catcher, he finished with five touchdowns. Derek Carrier only had 13 receptions, but had one touchdown to his name. As a whole, the Raiders tight ends had 130 targets and nine touchdowns. Moreover, they had the most receptions by tight ends in the 2019 regular season according to PFF.
Most receptions by tight ends, 2019 regular season:
1. Eagles 163
2. Ravens 132
3. Raiders 130 pic.twitter.com/fLgtfVDsBL
— PFF (@PFF) June 27, 2020
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In 2019, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 361 passes for 21 touchdowns, so their tight ends caught close to 36% of the signal-caller’s passes. That was despite the fact it was Waller’s first year in a featured role and Moreau was likely adjusting to the nuances of the pro level. The addition of Witten will definitely do nothing but bolster the group on and off the field. On one hand, the veteran can help Waller and Moreau get a stronger hold of the position. On the other side of the coin, Witten showed last season he still has some gas on the tank. After all, he finished the year with 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
Even though Moreau had a season-ending knee injury, he’s shown he’s recovering well. Even if he’s brought along slowly, Witten can make up for his potential absence. All said, the Raiders tight end room went from a group with potential in 2019 to a bunch of playmakers in 2020.
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*Top Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images