Even before he blossomed into one of the NFL’s best tight ends, Darren Waller was a freak of an athlete. People who are 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds shouldn’t be able to run a 4.46 40-yard-dash. Well, he can and is quickly becoming one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL.
The Las Vegas Raiders were lucky enough to be the team to discover him and give him his chance. He’s now rewarding them with elite production and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. The Pro Bowler has become a major workhorse and should only get better. Waller recently took to Instagram to show off a tough catch he made but what people took away was how high he jumped.
Considering his size, he can jump insanely high. He may be the most athletic tight end in the entire NFL right now. He was the Raiders’ No. 1 offensive threat last season so there was a lot of focus on him. If the team can do a better job of spreading the ball around and taking the focus on Waller, he’s going to be an absolute nightmare for defenses.
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Waller Ranked as 3rd Best TE in NFL
Just a couple of years ago, nobody even knew who Waller was. He’s quickly become a highly respected player throughout the NFL. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke to many people around the league and narrowed down the 10 best tight ends. Waller came in at three behind George Kittle and Travis Kelce.
“Defenses knew he was the guy to stop every week, and they couldn’t do it,” a veteran NFL offensive coach told Fowler. “It’s not like he had talent all around him. He’s the best athlete at the position, he’s young, he’s a capable blocker, and he can just overwhelm you in the passing game with his athleticism and speed.”
Waller could be a better receiver than both Kittle and Kelce but he still has work to do in the blocking game. If he can improve that aspect of his game, he could be No. 1 on this list come this time next year.
Waller Just Scratching the Surface?
The crazy thing about Waller is that he’s only really played two full seasons. He had some well-publicized issues with drugs early in his career and that was really close to derailing his future. Fortunately, he got clean and was noticed by the Raiders during the 2018 season.
He played in four games for the team during that season but didn’t do much. However, he quickly blew up on the scene in 2019. Waller has over 1,100 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons. Considering how raw he was when the Raiders picked him up, he could still get better. He has the athleticism and work ethic to be a Hall of Fame-level player. He’s also proven to be very druable. The Raiders hit the jackpot when they signed him and he could be only scratching the surface of his true potential.