Raiders snap count: Darren Waller moved all around, never left field

Scott Bair
NBC Sports BayArea

OAKLAND – Tight end Darren Waller was heavily involved in the Raiders offense, as expected for a player who does so much so well.

He was excellent as a receiving option, with seven catches for 70 yards on eight targets. Waller wasn't just around then.

In fact, he played every single offensive snap in Monday night's 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

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He moved all over the place. Per analytics site Pro Football Focus, Waller played 33 snaps as an in-line tight end, 15 out wide and seven in the slot.

He's best known for his receiving, but graded out well in 28 run-blocking snaps as well. Three of Waller's receptions went for first downs, and a long shot down the left sideline set up the game's first touchdown.

Waller was always going to play a big role, but it has certainly increased in the passing game with Antonio Brown gone.

"It felt good to contribute," Waller said. "Once [Derek Carr] knows who he has on the field, he was like, ‘I'm coming to you, so win every route.' So I'm trying to win every route. I am expecting the ball to be there and if it is not there, that's fine and if it is there, I'm trying to make something happen."

Waller didn't let emotions get the best of him, despite this being a big moment in a career previously derailed by substance abuse issues.

"I felt a calm that I have really never had before in football," Waller said. "Usually there is anxiety, but today it was like OK, I know that I belong. I know that I could make something happen." 

Waller wasn't the only young player to make something happen. No. 4 overall NFL draft pick Clelin Ferrell had three tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit and a pass batted at the line in his debut, playing 47 snaps.

Daryl Worley was the only defender to play every snap, with the Raiders using safety Curtis Riley in certain passing situations. The Raiders rotated heavily up front, even within specific packages.

Tahir Whitehead typically played every down last year, but was only in for 70 percent of the defensive snaps. That's a good thing, to maintain his stamina throughout games and the entire season.

Waller and Foster Moreau were the only tight ends to play offense, with Derek Carrier only playing special teams. Safety Erik Harris drew a similar assignment, leading special teams.

Josh Jacobs was definitely the lead back, taking 43 snaps. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington had 14 combined.

Ryan Grant stepped into snaps Brown would've taken as the second outside receiver opposite Tyrell Williams.

Rotations will change from week to week, but the season opener provides some insight into how the Raiders will use personnel this year. Here's the entire Raiders snap count:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 58

Quarterback – Derek Carr 58

Running back – Josh Jacobs 43, Alec Ingold 15, Jalen Richard 9, DeAndre Washington 5

Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 55, Ryan Grant 41, Hunter Renfrow 16, J.J. Nelson 8, Dwayne Harris 2

Tight end – Darren Waller 58, Foster Moreau 32

Offensive line – Jordan Devey 58, Trent Brown 58, Denzelle Good 58, Kolton Miller 58, Rodney Hudson, Brandon Parker 6

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 64

Defensive line – Clelin Ferrell 47, Johnathan Hankins 47, Maurice Hurst 32, Arden Key 30, Josh Mauro 27, P.J. Hall 25, Benson Mayowa 25, Maxx Crosby 23

Linebacker – Vontaze Burfict 56, Tahir Whitehead 44, Nicholas Morrow 28, Marquel Lee 8

Defensive back – Daryl Worley 64, Lamarcus Joyner 56, Karl Joseph 54, Johnathan Abram 49, Gareon Conley 45, Curtis Riley 25,

Special teams

Erik Harris 21, Derek Carrier 19, Kyle Wilber 19, Keisean Nixon 19, Dwayne Harris 17, Marquel Lee 16, Curtis Riley 12, Karl Joseph 12, Foster Moreau 12, Nicholas Morrow 10, Daniel Carlson 9, DeAndre Washington 8, Trent Sieg 7, A.J. Cole 7, Maxx Crosby 7, Daryl Worley 7, Tahir Whitehead 6, Clelin Ferrell 6, Vontaze Burfict 6, Maurice Hurst 5, Johnathan Hankins 5, Andre James 4, Johnathan Abram 4, Brandon Parker 4, Kolton Miller 4, Denzelle Good 4, Trent Brown 4, Jordan Devey 4, P.J. Hall 1, Arden Key 1, Benson Mayowa 1, Gareon Conley 1, Tyrell Williams 1, Hunter Renfrow 1, Darren Waller 1

Raiders snap count: Darren Waller moved all around, never left field originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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