Darren Waller has been one of the most consistent players the Las Vegas Raiders have had in the last two seasons. He’s arguably their best offensive player and is an upper-echelon tight end. For that reason, it wasn’t surprising to see him make a top 101 list.
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus recently wrote a list of the top 101 players from the 2020 season. In it, he named Waller as the 38th-best player and points out that even though Travis Kelce is the best tight end in the NFL, ’83’ was pretty good himself. He adds that Waller had more targets and catches than Kelce over the regular season, but both players averaged 5.6 yards per reception after the catch.
Later in his analysis, Monson calls Waller an ‘uncoverable force’ and he is right. PFF itself gave Waller an elite 90.9 receiving grade last season and he led the Raiders in both receptions and receiving yards. In fact, he was the only Las Vegas player to total more than 1,000 receiving yards.
Darren Waller should be the best Raiders’ best receiver in 2021
The Raiders have looked for ways to improve their wide receiver corps. Nevertheless, they haven’t been able to find a bonafide number-one wide receiver. Maybe Henry Ruggs III or Bryan Edwards take the next step in their development in 2021. Perhaps John Brown stays healthy and crosses the 1,000-yard receiving mark this year but until further notice, Waller will be their de facto main target. He’s been their most reliable target in the last two years and could do it once again.
The Raiders will likely continue their search for that elusive number-one wide receiver this offseason. They could add one in the draft or trust that their current ones will step up. In the meantime, they can feel relieved knowing Waller’s is on the roster. Having someone else to take some pressure off his shoulders would be nice, but the tight end has shown he can take over games in the past, so they should be alright.
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Top Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press