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After a monster Week 1 performance in which he caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, Darren Waller had a bit of a down season in 2021. He dealt with injuries and was only able to eclipse 70 yards three times.
However, he is still widely viewed as one of the best tight ends in the NFL as he’s now totaled over 3,000 receiving yards in the past three seasons. But where does he rank among his peers when it comes to the tight end position?
In a recent article by Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus, he ranked all of the best tight ends in the NFL entering the 2022 season. Not surprisingly, Waller ranked high, coming in at No. 3. Here is a snippet of Treash’s thoughts on the Pro Bowl tight end:
“Waller battled multiple ailments in 2021, hindering his ability to perform at his elite standard. In 2019 and 2020 collectively, the Raiders tight end ranked second at the position in WAR (0.90), third in receiving grade (91.2) and second in explosive receptions of 15-plus yards (55). Waller’s receiving grade then dropped to 73.9 for the 2021 season while he battled back and knee injuries.
There’s no denying he’s a dynamic weapon in the passing game when healthy. He may not have the blocking ability, but the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder is an uber-athlete and can slide in as a big X receiver when needed.”
Waller is still one of the most dynamic receiving tight ends in the NFL and should be in for another huge season in 2022. As long as he can stay healthy, he’ll have a chance to surpass his career highs in the new-look offense under Josh McDaniels.
Make no mistake about it, Waller is still a dominant tight end despite a so-so year in 2021.