Tight end Darren Waller had his best season as a pro in 2019, and he will lead one of the deepest and most talented position groups for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. Sophomore Foster Moreau, veteran Jason Witten and Derrek Carrier will join Waller.
The Raiders tight end unit looks even better than it was last season
While the Raiders had a subpar wide receiver corps last season, their tight end room was efficient. Besides catching 90 catches for 1,145 yards, Waller in conjunction with Moreau accounted for eight of quarterback Derek Carr’s 21 touchdowns in 2019. Carrier also contributed with 13 catches of 108 yards and one touchdown. Even though the group was in good shape heading into 2020, the team also added Witten.
Although Witten is past his prime, he still has plenty of gas left on the talk. Last season, he caught 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns. He might not see as many passes his way this season, but he will still have a big role in Las Vegas. In addition to his contributions on the field, he will be invaluable to the development of the Raiders’ tight end room. Waller has already talked about how Witten’s presence has benefitted him in such a short time.
We didn’t know if the Silver and Black would carry 3 or 4 tight ends
With cutdown day looming, we didn’t really know how many tight ends the Raiders were going to keep. Some said three, others four, and both numbers made case. Had the Silver and Black carried three tight ends, Carrier would have been the odd man out.
Another factor that played a factor was Moreau’s injury. After suffering a knee against the Titans in Week 14, the team’s brass didn’t know whether he was going to be ready or not for the season opener. Moreau said his recovery was tough and not fun at all, but it seems to have paid off. The sophomore tight end looked fully healthy in training camp and because of it, it was difficult to tell if Carrier was going to stay with the team. We now have an answer.
The Raiders have a well-rounded tight end unit heading into their Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Last season, they were, along with the ground game, the Silver and Black’s strengths on offense. A revamped wide receiver corps should complement them nicely in 2020.
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Top Photo: AP/John Locher, Pool