Training camp is in full swing and it hasn’t taken long for a couple of new Oakland Raiders wide receivers to start putting their stamp on the offense. Free-agent addition Tyrell Williams has impressed with his speed, size and deep threat ability. Starting QB Derek Carr and Williams have connected on a number of impressive plays.
Antonio Brown may get most of the attention on the Raiders’ offense, but Williams could be an excellent second option. Wide receiver is a glamour position, but Williams was excited to join up with Brown, per general manager Mike Mayock. Number two receivers have put up big numbers next to Brown in the past, just ask JuJu Smith-Schuster. Brown is so dynamic. That fact should open up a lot of opportunities for Williams to make big plays. With Brown not participating much to start camp, Williams is the top guy to watch.
Tyrell Williams Believes He’s ‘Underrated’
According to Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson, Tyrell Williams was originally going to be brought on to be the team’s number one receiver because they didn’t think they’d actually land Antonio Brown. In the early stages of camp, Williams has already shown that he’s worthy of many Derek Carr targets.
While there are those that think that the Raiders overpaid Williams, he believes that he’s actually one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL
“I feel like I’m one of the more underrated receivers,” Williams said after practice after Saturday’s practice. “I know I can run every route and obviously I can get better at it, but I know I can run all those routes, I can get open with every route. So, I definitely feel like I’m overlooked in my short game, but I do feel I can be a good short route runner.”
He also compared his demeanor to Brown’s.
“He’s a big personality and I’m pretty quiet,” said Williams about Brown. “I feel like we fit together well. He’s going to demand a lot of attention, so that’s going to open up a lot for me.”
It’s hard to say that a receiver that makes over $10 million a year qualifies as a steal, but he could help put the Raider offense over the top. He’s been dominating at camp and that’s with Brown being sidelined for most of it. Don’t forget, Williams has put a thousand-yard season before, so it’s entirely possible he’ll do it again this year. It’s not like the Raiders gave a big contract to a guy that hasn’t proven that he can be productive. One thing Carr does very well is throw the deep ball and Williams is an exceptional deep threat. He’ll get more looks than just deep passes, but it’s going to be hard for defenses to cover both Brown and him.
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Don’t Judge a Renfrow by Its Cover
Much has been made about how Hunter Renfrow doesn’t look the part of an NFL wide receiver. He looks more like a college teaching assistant, but that doesn’t mean he can’t ball out. He’s already been a handful for veteran defensive back LaMarcus Joyner.
“He’s here because he’s a great route runner, he’s smart, he’s intelligent and he’s gonna get me ready for Sunday,” said Joyner on practicing against Renfrow. “He’s a very prestigious route runner.”
Jon Gruden has pitted the two men against each other in an effort to get the best out of both of them. They both have their moments and the Raiders should be excited with both players. Being a fifth-round pick doesn’t come with particularly high expectations. Renfrow seems to be getting the hype of somebody who was drafted much higher. It’ll be impossible to know exactly what the team has in Renfrow until they start playing games, but early returns seem to be positive. A wide receiver corps that had no stand out a year ago could have at least three in 2019. Derek Carr has to be chomping at the bit to hit the field with the best receiving corps of his career.