The NFL Draft has not been too kind to the Las Vegas Raiders in recent years. They drafted arguable “busts” in the first round, such as Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram. Alex Leatherwood also struggled mightily in his rookie year, though there’s still hope for him. Some may be labeled busts due to their lack of production or inability to stay on the field. On the other hand, they do serve a purpose, and all of them still find themselves with their team. It just depends on how you view and value each player. Regardless, the first round hasn’t been kind to the Raiders, but the later rounds are another story.
In a retrospective piece here in the offseason, Bucky Brooks of NFL Media recently ranked players from the 2019 class. The previous Raiders regime thought highly of Clemson University and several players from that pipeline were on the list. The Silver and Black’s biggest name from that pipeline was their wide receiver, Hunter Renfrow. His ability to scramble after the catch and lose cornerbacks during his routes are just some of the attributes that got him a spot on the list.
Why is Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow on the NFL’s list?
Brooks explained his stance on the wide receiver, further elaborating on how a fifth-round pick cracked the top 15. Something that is a notable feat, all things considered.
“Routinely overlooked due to his underwhelming physical prowess, Renfrow just cashed in with a two-year, $32 million extension. As a crafty route runner with impeccable timing and a full bag of tricks, Renfrow has emerged as arguably the best pure slot receiver in football, having just posted a receiving line of 103/1,038/9 in 2021.”
Renfrow may not be the most physical receiver, but his route running and reliable hands earned him that extension with the team. From not being expected to produce big numbers to becoming a de facto number one option for Derek Carr, Renfrow has cemented himself as a keystone moving forward in Josh McDaniels’ offense. Speaking of McDaniels, Brooks also weighed in on that.
“He could be even more prolific in 2022. With Josh McDaniels installing a creative system that should take full advantage of the one-on-one matchups Renfrow will face playing alongside Davante Adams and Darren Waller, the Pro Bowler could hit the jackpot as the Raiders’ designated chain mover in the passing game.”
Renfrow will have the opportunity to take his game to another level under McDaniels. He’s drawing comparisons to Wes Welker as far as what type of role people are envisioning for him. The star slot receiver will see more openings on the field with so much Pro Bowl caliber talent on his team.
*Top Photo: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports