Is Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller the best in the AFC West?

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 20: Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders scores a touchdown in the second half against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 20: Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders scores a touchdown in the second half against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Darren Waller has been incredible since signing on with the Oakland Raiders, and he may just be the best in a talented AFC West division at his position.

On November 26, 2018, the Oakland Raiders signed former Baltimore Ravens tight end Darren Waller to the practice squad, setting off a chain of events that have completely changed the fortunes for both the franchise, and the player. After playing sparingly last season for the Raiders, showing incredible promise, Oakland went into the 2019 season expecting big things from him.

Waller has not disappointed, becoming one of the premier tight ends in the NFL this season. Through the first six games of the season, Waller has already hauled in 44 receptions, racking up nearly 500 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Last week, he caught seven passes for over 120 yards and two touchdowns, playing a huge role for the Raiders in their loss to the Green Bay Packers.

For Waller, who has had his issues with substance abuse during his NFL career, the move to Oakland has been a Godsend, and the team rewarded him recently with a long-term deal. Based on what we have seen from him on the football field, he is going to be an elite option for years to come for Derek Carr, and off of it, he has become an inspiration to addicts everywhere.

In terms of his place among the tight ends in the NFL, Waller is certainly one of the best, and may be the top guy in the division. The AFC West boasts incredible talent at tight end, including Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers, and Waller has become just as important in his first full season with the Raiders.

Not only is Waller outstanding in the receiving game, but he is also a tremendous blocker, making him the complete package at the tight end position. Head coach Jon Gruden stated during the summer that Waller is going to be one to watch, and he has backed up his coach in a big way.

The bottom line is that Waller is a special talent, as well as a special story, as he has been nothing but transparent about his journey to sobriety, and NFL stardom.

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With guys like Waller, Kelce, and Henry in the division, it is easily the one with with the most talent at the tight end position. For Waller, he is the complete package, and based on what we have seen this season, he is the elite player at the position in the AFC West.