Re-tooled Skill Position Group
Around this time last year, the major talk of the NFL offseason and Hard Knocks was how well Derek Carr would perform once he and then-teammate Antonio Brown took the field together.
We’re all aware how that ridiculous saga ended, but the Raiders did not adequately replace him with a WR1 on the roster after his release. This year, Las Vegas drafted the first wide receiver off the board, with Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III being selected 12th overall. The 5’11” speedster recorded the fastest 40 yard dash of all wideouts in the NFL combine and the 8th fastest in combine history.
This extreme downfield quickness will help Carr utilize the deep ball and provide him with his first major weapon since Amari Cooper was traded for a first round pick.
In addition to Ruggs’ ability to re-shape the way the offense operates, he is accompanied by last year’s top wideout Tyrell Williams, second-year man Hunter Renfrow, and free agent signee Nelson Agholor. Williams became the de facto WR1 after Brown’s exit, accruing 651 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
The red zone threat that eventually became Carr’s favorite weapon was tight end Darren Waller, who dominated in his first season as a starter. His 1,145 receiving yards led the team, and don’t forget that future Hall of Famer Jason Witten also remains a viable playmaker on the roster.