Raiders TE Darren Waller led all tight ends in yards after catch

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Marcus Mosher
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After a 1,145-yard breakout season in 2019, it seemed unlikely that Darren Waller would be able to top that year. But as we quickly learned, Waller isn’t just a good tight end. He’s a superstar.

In his second full year at the tight end position, Waller caught 107 passes for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns. He had five games of at least 100 receiving yards and finished the year 654 yards in his last five games.

Outside of being just a great athlete, Waller’s ability to win after the catch is what makes him a special talent. According to Pro Football Focus, Waller led all tight ends in yards after the catch with 594 in 2020.

In Jon Gruden’s West Coast offense, yards after the catch are key. Most receptions are happening within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and it’s up to the pass-catchers to turn them into big plays. Luckily for the Raiders, that is where Waller shines.

Entering 2021, Waller is a clear-cut top three tight end in the NFL. And if he can continue this linear development, it wouldn’t be a shock if he has a 1,200-yard, double-digit touchdown next season. He’s only starting to scratch the surface of the player he could eventually become in the NFL.