Darren Waller’s MNF breakout proves he’s an All-Pro caliber tight end

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 21: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 21: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Darren Waller proved he is an elite tight end last night in the Las Vegas Raiders’ win over the New Orleans Saints.

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has done just about everything in his power to get you to notice him.

After nearly washing out of the NFL due to substance abuse, Waller converted from a wide receiver to a tight end, eventually becoming one of the league’s best. While his breakout 2019 raised some eyebrows, few were willing to put him in the upper tier of tight ends. Waller might’ve changed hearts and minds on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.

Waller eviscerated the Saints yesterday, catching 12 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown to help Jon Gruden and Vegas pick up their first win in their shiny new arena.

Darren Waller has flown under the radar, but his production is elite

Given the relative absence of hype, the Raiders’ poor performance last year, and the belief that the offense runs through running back Josh Jacobs, it’s easy to see why Waller has been so overlooked.

However, Waller is coming off of a season in which he amassed 1,145 yards receiving. Waller is actually on pace to break his own personal best in terms of yards this year.

No one will mistake him for George Kittle as an in-line blocker, but Waller hasn’t lost his wide receiver speed despite bulking up, Doing so allowed to him to obliterate Malcolm Jenkins, as the veteran Saints DB couldn’t keep up with the fleet-footed Waller.

The Raiders have the vertical component in their passing game all set up in Henry Ruggs III, and both Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow can handle things underneath. Waller allows them to own the middle of the field due to his speed and mismatch potential.

Carr’s performance last night showed that even in a very deep division, the Raiders are not to be discounted. If they can sustain their winning ways into November and December, Waller will finally be coronated as one of the few elite tight ends in the league.

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