Darren Waller | Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
He was an unknown two years ago
The Darren Waller story makes me happy.
His NFL path just doesn’t happen very often and he deserves all the success and accolades he gets. And he’s getting some big love. ESPN ranked the top tight ends in the NFL and Waller is ranked as the fifth-best tight end in the NFL. This recognizes a great, elite player and Waller has earned that status.
Tight ends heading into 2020 who are ranked higher than Waller are George Kittle in San Francisco, Travis Kelce in Kansas City, Zach Ertz in Philadelphia and Rob Gronkowski in Tampa Bay. Gronk will go down as the best tight end in NFL history and Kittle and Kelce are on a Hall of Fame track. So, it’s huge for anyone to crack this top five. The fact that it is Waller is astonishing.
Waller, 27, was drafted in the sixth round by Baltimore in 2015. He was suspended by the NFL four substance abuse for four games in 2016 and then was he suspended for the entire 2017 season for the same reason. The Raiders signed him in November 2018 off the Ravens’ practice squad.
Going into the 2019 season, Waller had 18 career catches and then he exploded for 90 catches and 1,145 receiving yards last season. Now, he is considered an elite player.
Again, what an unreal story.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Want a job? Allegiant Stadium is hiring.
- A great cause: Raiders’ fullback Alec Ingold is helping a foundation close to his heart.
- Chad Johnson workout? He says he’s working out with the Raiders. But he is 42 and hasn’t played in nine years … so it would be crazy.
- Raiders will be eating good: A popular Las Vegas chef is going to work for the Raiders.
- Former Raiders coach honored: Mike Shanahan, who was the L.A. Raiders’ head coach for 20 games in the late 1980s, is being honored by the Denver Broncos. Shanahan talked to Mark Davis about the Raiders’ job in 2015 before it went to Jack Del Rio.