When Mike Mayock was still general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, he made some very questionable draft picks so it’s easy to forget that he made some excellent ones. One of the best pickups he made was drafting Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The undersized wide receiver coming out of Clemson made a ton of big plays in college but didn’t look the part of an NFL pass catcher.
Renfrow quickly became the team’s most reliable wide receiver and he’s gotten better each year. In 2021, he broke 1,000 receiving yards and was named to the Pro Bowl. He’s one of the Raiders’ best young players. However, he would’ve never been on the team had it been up to him.
“You really don’t know, you don’t really have an idea,” Renfrow said regarding if he knew which teams were targeting him in the draft on The Players Club Podcast. “You know some teams like you, but you’re not certain what’s going to happen. So I talked to my agent a little bit about if I’m not drafted, and I’m a free agent, like, where are the places that I want to go?”
While Renfrow didn’t divulge where he wanted to go, he made it clear where he didn’t want to go.
“Where are the places that me and Camilla would feel good about going and signing a free-agent contract and hoping to make the team,” Renfrow said. “So I remember going through a list of where I wanted to go. And then I made a list of like, where do I not want to go. And I remember me and Camilla came to a consensus that the Raiders were the number one team we did not want to go to.”
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Renfrow Didn’t Know Where Oakland Was
The Raiders are incredibly lucky that Renfrow didn’t have a say on where he was drafted. It’s hard to imagine the wide receiver playing anywhere else right now. A big reason that Renfrow was hoping to avoid that team is that he didn’t know anything about Oakland, which is where the Raiders were still playing in 2019 before moving to Las Vegas in 2020.
“They were there in Oakland for one year and up until college, I thought Oakland was in like Florida,” Renfrow said. “I had no idea where Oakland was. My geography is awful. It’s so far away from home. When I found out it was California … taxes. And I was like, ‘I don’t want to be there.’ Then go all the way across the country from my family. And then we’re going to Vegas in a year. And you know Sin City, that’s the strip, that’s craziness. So that’s the number one place we did not want to go.”
Renfrow is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which is quite far from Oakland and Las Vegas. It’s easy to understand why he’d be apprehensive at first. There might not be two cities more different than Myrtle Beach.
Renfrow Is Happy in Hindsight
Despite his initial concerns, everything worked out in the end. Renfrow is a beloved player by the fan base and he has great relationships with his teammates.
“I couldn’t be more thankful we ended up here because there’s so many good people,” Renfrow said. “And so it’s been an amazing opportunity. I love the Raiders organization and really the teammates I play with. It’s been special.”
There’s no reason to worry about Renfrow’s future in Las Vegas based on these comments. He’s elgible for an extension this offseason and the Raiders would be wise to give him one. He should be on the team for a long time to come.