Darren Waller was one of the best offensive players for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019. Even though he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, a teammate of his believes he can be even better in 2020.
Darren Waller proved the Raiders right after taking a wager on him
Without much firepower at wide receiver, Waller became quarterback Derek Carr’s favorite target. He ended the 2019 season with 90 catches for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. Although he wasn’t the best tight end in the NFL, he surely was among the cream of the crop.
This upcoming season though, the Raiders won’t have to rely much on Waller again since Tyrell Williams is healthy, and the team added Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the 2020 NFL Draft. Moreover, the Georgia Tech product isn’t the only talented tight end in the Silver and Black’s roster. The aforementioned Witten joined the Raiders this past offseason and Foster Moreau is ready to pick off where he left off in his rookie year.
Going into the 2020 season, Waller may see fewer targets because of the additions the Raiders made. Nevertheless, he will get still get plenty of opportunities to make plays. It’s just that Carr will have plenty of targets to throw the ball to, which ironically will open things for Waller since defenses won’t be able to devote extra coverage to him.
Jason Witten believes the sky is the limit for Darren Waller
After 16 years in the NFL, Witten knows pretty much everything that has to do with the tight end position. Even though he is no longer in his prime, he still can be a key contributor for the Raiders on the field. Last season, he had 63 catches for 529 yards in Dallas, so he certainly has more than one roar left. Off the field, he can make Waller even better than he already is.
In a recent Zoom conference, Witten talked about his experience joining the Raiders. Via The Mercury News, the former Cowboys tight end said he has studied tape of Waller from a year ago. Also, he highlighted the attributes that make his teammate special.
There is no limit on what he can accomplish in this league. I’ve watched a lot of his tapes from a year ago. He’s big, he’s long, he’s athletic, he’s extremely fast, but he’s just got great feel and understanding. A lot about playing the tight end position, you want size, you want speed, you want all those things, but how do you get open when maybe the coverage doesn’t say you should get open? That’s where the tricks are you have to master.
Witten also mentioned Waller is driven and because of it, he will become even better than he is.
You see the way he studies it, what he wants out of it this year and his career. I think he’s going to be a star. I think he already is a star, but I don’t think there’s a limit to what he can achieve in this league.
Even without Witten’s praise and likely tutelage, Waller would’ve continued to be a playmaker. However, it won’t hurt him to get advice from someone who’s on his way to the NFL Hall of Fame.
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Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal