Raiders tight end     
Courtesy: SBNation

The Raiders Tight End Gang


By all accounts, it looks as if the Raiders have polished up the squad for this upcoming season.


Gruden and Mayock have made some jaw-dropping improvements. They’ve added a slew of hybrid weapons on defense that can do more than one job for the unit. On offense, this roster should be able to adapt to the situation each week and use multiple gameplans effectively. Both sides of the ball have gained some fresh juice. For the Raiders to be able to compete in a loaded AFC West, juice was needed.

So all eyes are on the Silver and Black this year as they head into their first season at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders rank number 12 for the easiest schedule in the NFL based on the records of their opponents from 2019. With the new talent added to the roster, the nation is eyeing a return to the playoffs.

 Much of the offseason talk has been dedicated to the Raiders’ receiving core. Although the team added some finesse to the wide receiver room, they also added some thump to the tight end group. The Raider tight ends look to be one of the best groups in the league. Jon Gruden said earlier in the offseason, “We want to use three tight ends at a time, no disrespect to the receivers, but we’re going to put three tight ends out there: Foster Moreau, Darren Waller, and Jason Witten. And we’re going to run it in play-action, and we’re going to play old-school football. We have a fullback, so we’re going to use a two-back set with Josh Jacobs and Ingold.”


Let’s take a look at this trio heading into the 2020 season.


Gruden prefers to play the trio early in the game, where they play a large part in his offensive script. Darren Waller, ranked one of the top 5 tight ends in the game, showed out in 2019. His beast-mode play proved his value to the Raiders as the 6’6, 255 lb specimen is a versatile, do-it-all type of guy. Waller has shown that he can play slot receiver and can block as a conventional tight end. Add his speed and route-running ability, and he is a triple threat. For a safety, linebacker, or cornerback, Waller is going to be a problem.



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Waller’s statistical production stunned a lot of people last year. Playing in the league for a total of 5 years, Waller was drafted in the 6th round by the Baltimore Ravens. He had a rough start entering the league in 2016. His production was low, and he struggled with substance abuse. After serving two suspensions, he was placed on the Ravens practice squad.

Gruden snagged him from there and made him a Raider. Luckily, Waller overcame his adversity and became adversity on the field. He was graded as the third-best tight end in the game at the end of the 2019 season. Waller finished the season with 90 receptions for 1145 yds and 3 TDs. His athleticism and speed will help win games this upcoming season. 


Photo courtesy of Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News


Jason Witten, the well-rounded tight end who played 16 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, joins the Raiders on a one-year deal worth up to $4.75 million. Witten is a 38-year-old stud who will add depth to the game and be a leader on and off the field. Witten has enough experience throughout his career that he will be able to assist Gruden in teaching the guys the old school football that he admires.

Witten retired after the 2017 season to join the Monday Night Football booth and returned in 2019. He recorded 63 catches for 529 yards and 4 TDs. Witten’s sharp football knowledge will add some savvy to a young Raiders squad. 





Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The third man in the trio, Foster Moreau, brings an edge to the tight end room. Moreau finished the season with 21 catches for 174 yards and 5 TDs. He would have blown his rookie stats out of the water, but he was placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury. 

Moreau serves as the No.2 tight end on the team before veteran Jason Witten. Moreau and Waller fit together like two peas in a pod. Moreau is an all-around tight end who can block and receive. Coming off his season-ending injury, Moreau is set to attend training camp taking place on July 28th, 100% recovered. This year is Moreau’s comeback season as he aims to develop his skills and mesh with the rest of the TE room.



Raiders tight end Derek Carrier is fighting to hold down his spot on the roster. He picked up more responsibility in 2019, covering for Moreau when he was out with injury. Carrier recorded 13 receptions for 108 yards and 1 TD. Although Carrier is not a dominating tight end, he was a productive player on special teams.

 Carrier won’t be the only tight end fighting for his job this season. The Raiders signed former Penn State tight end Nick Bowers who played in 26 games with two starts in his final year. Bowers has experienced a few injuries throughout his college play but finished the 2019 season with ten receptions for 214 yards and 3 TDs. He isn’t an all-around tight end yet, but he does have the athleticism that can get him on the field. Bowers is currently simmering on the roster bubble but still has the opportunity to show out at training camp. 

Lastly, if you are searching for tight end Nick O’Leary who signed with the Raiders this year during free agency, you won’t be able to find him. O’Leary won’t return for play until 2021. He is recovering from a heart attack surgery. O’Leary was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list by the Raiders, who have expressed to him that they’re “going to leave the door open for next season.” O’Leary has played in the NFL for five years with the Bills, Jaguars, and Dolphins. He has recorded 53 catches for 668 yards and 4 TDs in his career, serving as a valuable blocker. 


The tight end group is locked and loaded this upcoming season.


The group brings a ton of athleticism to and should be a big problem for opposing defenses this season. The Raiders offense will bring a triple threat to this hybrid position, exploiting three different skillsets. If they mesh together, they’ll be one of the best Tight End groups in the NFL. 

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-Nyshon Zaragoza – Franchise Sports Media

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