Oakland Raiders 2019 midseason MVP, ROY, and more
Biggest Surprise: Tight End Darren Waller
One of the best narratives to come from the 2019 season has been that of tight end Darren Waller and his rise from the proverbial ashes. As documented by Hard Knocks prior to the season kicking off, Waller has come a long way from being in rehab to being one of the best tight ends the NFL has to offer.
The offseason hype has panned out for Waller as he is as advertised. The 6-foot-6, 256 pound tight end has been nothing short of stellar for the Silver and Black through eight games and is establishing himself as a top-tier tight end. He has shown out, so much so that the Raiders rewarded him with a three-year contract extension worth nine million dollars per season.
Waller has firmly planted himself in the top five conversation for NFL tight ends, and it comes as surprise as only a season ago he was on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Through eight weeks Waller is third among tight ends in receptions and yards with 48 and 548 respectively. He also has three touchdowns which is tied for fourth league-wide.
As the stats portray, Waller has become an elite tight end in essentially only eight career NFL starts. He has big shoes to fill after Jared Cook left for New Orleans but Waller has filled that void and then some, establishing himself as one of the Raiders best offensive weapons. Waller has been a very pleasant surprise for the Raiders and is a huge reason behind the team’s success on offense.