As we look towards Sin City heading into the 2020 season, the Las Vegas Raiders boast an elite trio of tight ends that are locked in from now into the future.
The Las Vegas Raiders will be hard at work amongst the draft and during free agency to make upgrades throughout the roster. In a division that now includes the reigning Super Bowl champion, it’s up to Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock to continue building this team to match the competition.
But to make both their lives easier, they already have a strong positional group at their disposal, and they arguably have the best group in the league.
The trio of Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, and Derek Carrier proved to be an elite trio of tight ends for the Raiders in 2019, and for the most part, this group will be locked under contract from now into the future.
A year ago the Raiders opted to not bring back Jared Cook because they believed they had a budding star tight end of their own in Darren Waller. Throughout training camp and leading up to the start of the season, Raiders coaches and players were all hyping up Waller for a potential breakout season.
Safe to say, the foresight was well warranted and Waller became one of the league’s top tight ends by the end of the 2019 season.
Waller finished third amongst tight ends in receiving yards per game and was second in total receptions and total yards by a tight end in 2019. Darren Waller not only became the Raiders’ best tight end, but he arguably became a legitimate star for the Silver and Black in 2019.
If anything, the only knock was the low number of touchdown receptions, but that’s to be expected when defenses are double teaming. And that is where Foster Moreau comes into play.
Even with Waller expected to lead the position group, the Raiders opted to solidify the position with the selection of Foster Moreau in the fourth round out of LSU. If Waller wasn’t open, Derek Carr found his man in Moreau with five touchdown connections on the season. Check the numbers, those five touchdowns hauled in by Moreau match that of Travis Kelce and George Kittle.
Had Moreau’s rookie season not ended prematurely due to injury, who knows the statistical production he could have continued to accrue. Having a matchup nightmare in Waller as your primary tight end, and then with Moreau’s production alongside him, is kudos to Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden hitting the mark with their mid-round selections.
Rounding out the trio is Derek Carrier, a 31-year old veteran entering the final year of his contract. While not generating the same amount of excitement as Waller or Moreau, Carrier provides a veteran presence for the trio. Most importantly, there should be no concern of him stepping in when need be, as he did last season in Moreau’s absence.
With Darren Waller at age 27 and Foster Moreau just entering his sophomore season, Las Vegas has both players under contract for the long-term. The Raiders’ have arguably an elite tight end group, quite possibly the best in the NFL, in their prime years. This group is a matchup advantage and will be donning the Silver and Black from now into the future.
Heading into Sin City, they will only make Derek Carr and Jon Gruden’s lives easier on offense. Draft a young wide receiver, continue to feed Josh Jacobs, and leverage the elite trio of tight ends, and the Las Vegas Raiders very well have a triple threat once the 2020 season kicks off.