Darren Waller was a revelation for the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2019 NFL season as the tight end proved to be one of the most reliable receivers for Derek Carr.
Waller, who spent the beginning of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, found a home with the Raiders and was a threat roaming the middle of the field, providing a safety blanket for Carr when he was in trouble. For his efforts, Waller was rewarded with a three-year extension in the middle of last year that will run through the 2023 NFL season.
Las Vegas had a successful offseason where they added more talent to the offense, and in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Waller has high hopes for that unit, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports:
“If you look at things across the board, starting with the offensive line and the quarterback, with improvement at the receiver positions and the tight ends trying to be consistent, I think our offense has a chance to do a lot of great things and put up a lot of great numbers,” Waller said Tuesday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “The big thing for us is finishing in the red zone this year. I know that we’re doing everything in our power to improve upon that. I don’t feel like having a top five offense is out of the picture.
“We have that much talent. We have guys who are buying in. We have a balanced system. I have high expectations, and I think everyone on the offense would say the same thing.”
Aside from receiving, the Georgia Tech product is looking to improve his overall game in 2020 to help the Raiders achieve that goal of being a top-five offense:
“I want to have an attitude in the run game,” Waller said. “My want-to is there. My attitude has improved as the years have gone by, and now it’s about mastering the technique week in and week out. It’s the mindset in the run game and in pass protection as well. I was reliable in those area some of the time, and some of the time I wasn’t.
“It’s about being consistent in all aspects of the game and being able to learn.”
Waller finished the 2019 campaign with 90 receptions for 1,145 yards and three receiving touchdowns and while he may not hit those numbers again due to all the new mouths to feed, he should still serve as an integral piece of Jon Gruden’s scheme. He is a mismatch thanks to his size and speed and will once again be heavily leaned on once the 2020 NFL season begins.