The Las Vegas Raiders made a plethora of moves this past offseason once their new regime was in place. Everyone knows about the blockbuster additions with regard to Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. However, Dave Ziegler might’ve hit it out of the park when he signed wide receiver Mack Hollins.
In many ways, Hollins has been the offensive catalyst not named Adams, Derek Carr, or Josh Jacobs. To many fans, he was merely a filler, an afterthought. Nevertheless, with Hunter Renfrow going down with a concussion, Hollins has more than filled the void in terms of production. When you consider everything that’s gone down with the Raiders this season, Hollins has been constant since Week 1. In fact, there are three reasons why his signing was a godsend for Ziegler and Co.
Bleacher Report named Mack Hollins as a hidden gem for the Las Vegas Raiders
Last year with the Miami Dolphins, Hollins flew largely under the radar. The most noteworthy game he had last season was in Week 11, in which he hauled in two receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Hollins has, for the most part, been a complementary piece in NFL offenses. While never the focal point, he excelled in whichever role he was placed in. As a part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl LII run, he saw action mostly on special teams, a role he still flourishes in if you were paying attention on Sunday.
As recently as last week, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay named Hollins as the Raiders’ “hidden gem” for 2022. Kay highlights Hollins’ performance against the Tennessee Titans as a true breakout game, something that very few likely foresaw.
“Mack Hollinsâ€™ emergence has been a pleasant surprise for the club… While there was plenty of hype around the rekindled connection between collegiate teammates Derek Carr and Adams, Hollins has become the Raidersâ€™ most productive receiver seemingly out of nowhere.”
As it stands today, Hollins is the No. 2 receiver for all intents and purposes. Star tight end Darren Waller has largely been absent in terms of receiving production (but not in run-blocking), and with Renfrow (concussion) recuperating from a devastating hit, Hollins continues to make the most of his opportunity. Against the Denver Broncos, Hollins caught three passes for 33 yards. Meanwhile, against the Titans, Hollins enjoyed remarkable numbers, including receiving yards (158), receptions (8), and a touchdown.
Hollins’ big-play ability has been crucial for Derek Carr and Josh McDaniels
If someone told you that four weeks into the 2022 season, Hollins would be second in receiving yards and in a three-way tie for receiving touchdowns, you’d call them a liar. However, that’s exactly where Hollins finds himself.
More so than just catches or total yardage, the big-play ability of Hollins is what has made his addition that much more crucial. Right now, Hollins is averaging an incredible 16.1 yards per reception, and on top of that, he’s clutch with just one drop counting against him. In Renfrow’s absence, Hollins is making waves in helping to move the chain as well. So far in 2022, he has 12 first-down conversions. There’s no doubt that Carr is relying on Hollins to make a big play, and that should continue even after Renfrow returns. Carr has always liked big-bodied, physical, strong receivers, and Hollins is the latest player to fill this role.
The Raiders needed a veteran leader with championship pedigree
Another underrated aspect of Hollins’ game is his leadership qualities. As a Super Bowl champ, Hollins knows all about the grind, the trials, and turbulence associated with a championship run. When Raiders fans found themselves panicking over a tough start to the season, Hollins essentially stated that the season was a long one, and that while you don’t want to lose games, it’s bound to happen. Having this type of locker room presence is vital, especially when the Raiders are trying to change the team’s identity and philosophy into that of a winner. If the Raiders find themselves back in the playoffs in January, Hollins will have likely played a major role in that.
Reviewing The Las Vegas Raiders’ Secondary vs. Denver Broncos
*Top Photo: Silas Walker/Getty Images
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