After back-to-back stellar seasons, Darren Waller struggled some in 2021. He missed some time due to an injury suffered on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys, but that wasn’t his only problem as he just never looked right all season.
If you exclude his huge Week 1 performance, Waller caught just 45 passes for 560 yards and one touchdown in the ten other games he appeared in. However, Waller is still widely regarded as one of the top tight ends in the NFL.
In a recent piece by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, he spoke with over 50 NFL coaches, scouts and executives and had them rank their top ten tight ends entering the year. Waller came in at No. 3, only behind George Kittle and Travis Kelce. Here is what one NFL coach had to say about Waller:
“I don’t even really look at him as a tight end, though he can function as one. You can line him up anywhere. He can bully smaller DBs and has the speed to separate. He’s a guy you can throw vertically to and have no reservations, can throw him jump balls, quick passes over the middle. His range is pretty incredible.”
Waller is still one of the most dynamic receiving weapons in the entire NFL and now that he is fully healthy, he should have another big season. What will also help Waller is the addition of Davante Adams as it should draw some attention away from him in the middle of the field.
Look for Waller to have another 1,000-yard season with the Raiders in 2022.