Hunter Renfrow has had a very impressive offseason. The Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver has been getting praise from teammates and coaches at every corner. Despite his status as a fifth-round pick, Renfrow figures to be a big part of the Raider offense from week one. He’s received praise from fellow rookies, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram, in the past and now his new quarterback has joined the party. Derek Carr took Twitter to talk about his young receiver.
Renfrow has been noted for his football intelligence and strong hands. When asked if Renfrow was exceeding his expectation, Carr doubled down on his praise for the former Clemson Tiger.
He called Renfrow a “straight baller,” which probably means he’s going to be the recipient of many Carr targets. In addition to the rookie, the team added Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams in the offseason. The Oakland wide receiver corps should be improved in a major way in 2019. Nobody is going to be more happy about that fact than Carr.
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Renfrow’s Expectations in Year One
From a numbers point of view, it’s hard to know how Renfrow will do. Like mentioned previously, the Raiders are loaded at wide receiver. Derek Carr is good at spreading the ball around, but the offensive line is a question mark. Seth Roberts was Carr’s main slot receiver throughout the last several years and he never passed 500 yards on a season.
What works in Renfrow’s favor is that he has excellent hands. Roberts made a few big drops while he was with the Raiders and that shouldn’t happen with Renfrow. He’s also a very smart player.
“I’m not the biggest guy, I’m not the fastest,” Renfrow said earlier in the offseason. “But I feel like I can outthink people at times. I think that’s such a big part of the game that people don’t realize.”
Renfrow will fit perfectly in the role of a slot receiver. As has been seen in the past, slot receivers can put up big numbers when most of the attention is on other receivers. Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams should get the bulk of the attention from defenses. Just look how well Brandon Stokley did when the Colts had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Renfrow could fall into the role of a Stokley type player and be very productive for the Raiders.
He’s got a very tough matchup against Chris Harris Jr. in week one versus the Denver Broncos. He shouldn’t let a bad performance against Harris put him down because he’s simply one of the best at covering the position. While Renfrow is bound for a slow start, things should pick up quickly in week two against a weak Kansas City Chiefs pass defense. It’ll be very interesting to see how he develops. Josh Jacobs, Brown and Williams will probably be the focal points of the offense, but Renfrow will have plenty of chances to make big plays. He could be a serious steal for the Oakland Raiders.