Without looking, can you guess how many touchdowns Hunter Renfrow caught in 2021? The answer is nine, which led the Raiders. No other player had more than three last season (Bryan Edwards, Foster Moreau).
In fact, the last player to have more than nine receiving touchdowns in a season for the Raiders was Tim Brown during the 2000 season, when he caught 76 passes for 1,128 yards and 11 TDs at age 34.
So how was Renfrow so efficient and productive in the red zone? It is as simple as this; he gets open.
In a recent article by Bryant Horn of Pro Football Focus, he ranked the top red zone receivers of the 2021 season. Renfrow showed up on the list, coming in at No. 7. Here is what Horn had to say about the dynamic slot receiver:
“If Cooper Kupp’s outlier 2021 season was removed, Renfrow would have the second-most red-zone receiving yards (114). He caught 18 of his 24 targets, 17 of which were “open.” The Raiders’ receiver also hauled in 100.0% of his catchable targets and rounds out the aforementioned three-way tie with nine touchdowns.”
The Raiders actually had two players on this list as Davante Adams showed up at No. 5 as he caught 18 of his 26 red zone targets last season and scored 11 touchdowns. Together, Adams and Renfrow should be among the best red-zone receivers again this year as they are both fantastic route runners against man-to-man coverage.
For the Raiders to have one of the top offenses in the NFL this season, they’ll need to be great in the red zone. That wasn’t always the case last year, but they should be much improved with the addition of Adams and the return of a healthy Darren Waller. But don’t rule out the possibility of Renfrow catching seven to nine touchdowns again this season from the slot.