With his production over the previous two seasons, there's no doubt that Darren Waller deserves to be mentioned among the best tight ends in the NFL.
However, 2021 was a different story, with much of that having to do with injuries that caused the Pro Bowler to miss six games.
Waller finished with 55 catches for 665 yards and two touchdowns, the worst single-season numbers of his Raiders career.
Even when Waller was on the field, the Las Vegas Raiders' focus on getting the ball downfield meant that quarterback Derek Carr didn't need to overly rely on Waller as his primary target.
Waller's average yards per game was down to just over 60 after averaging over 70 in 2019 and 2020.
It didn't help that Waller had his lowest catch percentage as a Raider, only reeling in 59.1 percent of the balls thrown his way.
That's down from consistently being over 73 percent each of the last two seasons, and he also had the most drops he's had in a year with six.
It all led to Waller being ranked by Pro Football Focus as only the 18th best tight end in the league this year after being in the top-five the last two years.
While it was a year to remember for the Raiders, it was one that Waller will want to put behind him as he works to get back to his previous level of production.
Knowing he'll at least have a legitimate option to go with him in wide receiver Hunter Renfrow going forward could even give him the chance to put up bigger numbers, as long as he can stay healthy.
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