Hunter Renfrow's potential is too high for the Raiders to ditch him now

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers
Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers / Gaelen Morse/GettyImages
3 of 4

Raiders quitting on Hunter Renfrow is downright silly

Quitting on him this early is silly. Again, despite a couple injuries in 2022, it is clear his projection is upward. For fun, let’s compare Renfrow’s first 4 seasons (56 games played) to Tim Brown’s first 4 seasons (49 games played). Renfrow has more catches (244 to 98), more receiving yards (2629 to 1552) and more touchdowns (17 to 13).

I’m not saying Hunter Renfrow is Tim Brown. I’m saying you don’t quit on a young, productive Wide Receiver before he hits his prime.

Another fun comparison – a young Renfrow’s production with the Raiders was essentially the same as an old Jerry Rice’s production with the Raiders. Renfrow with 244 catches, 74.8% catch percentage, 17 touchdowns and 10.8 yards per catch in four seasons is right in stride with Jerry Rice’s 243 catches, 58.7% catch percentage, 18 touchdowns and 13.5 yards per catch in four seasons.

I’m not saying Hunter Renfrow is Jerry Rice (although maybe he is a late 30s Rice right now). I’m saying having a WR2 that produces those numbers is extremely beneficial to an offense, as we remember from those early 2000s Silver and Black teams.

But if McDaniels and Ziegler are seeking their next Julian Edelman, well I am most definitely saying they already have that with Renfrow. See comparison below. There are people out there who consider Edelman a Hall of Famer (I am not one of those people, but I suppose it helps my argument for keeping Renfrow around).

Hunter Renfrow’s career:

4.4 receptions per game

46.9 yards per game

TD every 3.3 games

2.33 1st downs per game

catches 74.8% of passes to him

Julian Edelman’s career:

4.5 receptions per game

49 yards per game

TD every 3.8 games

2.6 1st downs per game

caught 65.9% of passes to him

If the rumors are true, Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels are wondering if they can get that same production for a cheaper price. Which is best exemplified by them signing former Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers to a three-year, $33M contract a few months ago (a few million cheaper than Renfrow per year).

Based on each of their four seasons in the NFL, Jakobi Meyers had similar production to Renfrow. Both spent a lot of time in the slot. But Renfrow is the better route runner and has found the end zone over twice the amount as Meyers (17 TDs vs 8 TDs).

It feels like how the Raiders regime handled Waller. In my opinion, by ditching Waller’s cost in favor of a cheap rookie, they absolutely need the reliable Renfrow right now. Removing both from an offense managed by an injury plagued QB would be disastrous.

This offseason, Raiders cornerbackIke Brown said he rather guard future Hall of Famer Davante Adams than have to deal with Renfrow. “He's like a puzzle, man. And it's like a puzzle you can't figure out. So he's very smart, man. And it's just like, he's very quiet and humble."

The gossip that the Raiders are shopping Renfrow just feels like another example of people over-looking him. Not realizing how good he really is.

Whether it’s the front office or the fans – it’s time to stop looking at Renfrow as a late pick who “doesn’t look the part” success story and start treating him like one of the best route runners in the NFL. That’s a guy you have to keep on your team.