As the attention of the league begins to shift towards the Raiders’ skyrocketing potential, it may be easy to overlook the most critical part of the offense: Tyrell Williams. Yes, a WR1, like Henry Ruggs is incredibly important to have, but a decent WR2 can make or break the success of the team. Williams arrived last season to serve as a WR2 prior to the 2019 season. Yet, due to potentially unforeseen circumstances, Williams found himself slotted into the number one spot.
However, Williams started strong in 2019, catching five touchdowns in his first five games. He would then face minor injuries throughout the season, not only keeping him from returning to full strength but also keeping him out of the endzone until Week 15.
Truth and Reality
Although Williams has the talent of a WR1, he seems to benefit the team as the WR2. Williams appears comfortable with this. Prior to the Raiders, he was typically slotted behind Keenan Allen with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.
Numbers Don’t Lie
His best season, however, came in 2016 when Allen went out in week one. Williams would record over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns. Provided Williams can shake off the injuries that plagued him in 2019, the Raiders will be set with an intimidating, yet still underrated, offensive onslaught of Ruggs, Williams, Renfrow, and Waller to start the season.
Williams’ success is so incredibly crucial as it will force defenses to spread their defense, clearing up space not only for Ruggs, Renfrow, and Waller but for Josh Jacobs as well. The best running offense is a good passing offense and vice versa. After witnessing the Raiders’ dismantled 2018 offense led by Marcell Ateman, Derek Carr should be happy to have another familiar, trusted face in his receiving corps.
Las Vegas employs impressive backup talent as well that may not see the field as much as they would like. However, a deep bench never hurt anyone. Zay Jones, and Bryan Edwards should be available to step in for Williams should any unfortunate events occur. But as of right now, he could be one of Carr’s most trusted targets. Even if Edwards appears ready to start, Carr’s trust holds a major influence on the depth chart.
Last year’s wide receiver roster debacle may have been incredibly beneficial to his future success with the team. He was able to showcase his skills as a starter and develop a significant base of trust with Carr. Now, with Ruggs assuming the WR1 spot, Williams can bring his experience to help Ruggs’ transition easier.