With the flurry of free agent moves, the Las Vegas Raiders added to their offense. By signing John Brown, Derek Carr enjoys yet another weapon. Now, while that sounds idyllic, there is a catch or a reduced number of them. With the signing, one Raiders player will probably suffer, losing potential targets. Hunter Renfrow fashioned a strong career as a third-down, slot option for the Raiders. How that changes with the additions could change his course.
Despite only ten starts in two seasons, Renfrow carved out a sizable niche within the Raiders’ offense. Sixty-two combined catches for first downs in two seasons made him a trusted target for Derek Carr. As we all know, if Carr doesn’t trust you, you’re not seeing the ball, in any way, shape, or form. For a rookie to walk in and achieve that level of quarterback faith remains one of the quietly astounding parts of the offense. Averaging twelve yards per catch may not open eyes, as mentioned, the importance of Renfrow’s catches counts.
Normally, you’d think that drafting a receiver in the first round would not affect a slot wideout. Now, if you look ahead, potential trouble awaits. With the signing of John Brown, the assumption hovers that he will inherit the Nelson Agholor targets. Combining that with the need for Bryan Edwards to provide a strong presence as the X receiver, where does that leave Henry Ruggs? Well, the slot looks like his prime destination. With his speed and acceleration, Ruggs would win with explosion instead of Renfrow’s craftiness. Additionally, Darren Waller, who will split outside as well, could force the 2020 first-rounder into the slot.
While not set in stone, if things transpire as stated above, Hunter Renfrow could see his targets cut and reduced into a special teams role. Now, before anyone attempts to write him off, Renfrow made his reputation by proving so many people wrong. The intangible of will could see him force his way onto the field with his sure hands and chemistry with Derek Carr. The Raiders may actually possess a good problem. Actual, quality receiver depth. Hunter Renfrow, throughout his college and pro career, wrote his own script with strong play. Obstacles are nothing new.