There are a lot of teams who have great tight ends, but the Las Vegas Raiders might just have the best group of tight ends in the NFL. They have the star in Darren Waller, the future Hall of Famer in Jason Witten and the up and coming young stud in Foster Moreau. Out of the position groups on the Raiders, tight end is probably the strongest.
While there are three guys who could conceivably be starters on a team, there’s no doubt that Waller is the star of the show. He was a revelation in 2019 and may already be the best receiving tight end in the NFL. Witten thinks that the young star is just getting started.
“There is no limit on what he can accomplish in this league,” Witten said of Waller on Monday. “He’s still a young player. I watched a lot of tape from a year ago. He’s big, he’s long, he’s athletic, he’s extremely fast. He’s just got great feel and understanding. A lot of that part of playing the tight end position. You want size, you want speed, you want all those things, but how do you get open when maybe the coverage doesn’t say you should get open. And that’s one of the tricks you have to master. You see the way he studies it, and what he wants out of this year in his career. I think he’s going to be a star. He already is a star. I don’t think there’s a limit to what he can achieve in this league at the tight end position.”
Waller wasted his first few years in the NFL due to drug abuse but he’s been sober for years now and put his freakish talent on display last year. He’s a decent blocker at the position but not the best. If he can improve that part of his game while putting similar receiving numbers in 2020, an argument could be made that he’s the best tight end in the game.
Will Waller’s Number Go Down This Season?
Waller’s breakout 2019 was undeniably impressive. He came out of nowhere to become one of the most productive receivers at tight end in the NFL. However, he was also helped by the fact that the Raiders were a disaster at wide receiver. He was usually Derek Carr’s top target every week.
The team should be much better out wide this year with the addition of a couple of promising rookies. While that could cause Waller to get fewer looks, it could also help out his stats even more. Every week, teams knew the Raiders were going to target Waller on a consistent basis. With more threats at wide receiver, teams won’t be able to focus as much on Waller. Las Vegas isn’t just going to forget about their star tight end. They’re going to get him the ball often.
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Witten Talks About Being a Mentor
Waller has proven to be a strong leader in his own right but Witten is as good as they come. He’s been in the league for almost two decades and has seen a lot of things. He’s going to come into the room of talented young tight ends and bring a leadership quality that nobody else on the team can match.
“I certainly in my career have had a lot of great mentors, coaches and players alike who showed me the game. Input to help me try and take the next step,” Witten said. “It starts with Darren Waller and what kind of year he had last year in the future, Foster Moreau being a young player, and I come in.”