Jon Gruden: I’d take Darren Waller over any tight end

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Raiders tight end Darren Waller turned in a huge performance in Monday night’s win over the Saints, catching 12 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and afterward his coach had some high praise for him.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said he would rather have Waller than any other tight end in the NFL, including George Kittle or Travis Kelce.

“Darren’s a great player, our job is to try and get him the ball,” Gruden said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “I’d take him over any tight end. I know Kittle and Kelce are as good as they get, but Waller is right up there with them. This is his second year playing the position. It’s astonishing what this man can do.”

Gruden is in Year 3 of his overhaul of the Raiders, and Waller is one of the most talented players he’s brought in. Waller originally played for the Ravens but struggled to overcome substance abuse issues and was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2017 season. But Gruden signed him in 2018, and in 2019 Waller caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards. This year Waller looks poised to match or even exceed that production, and Gruden is thrilled to have him.

31 responses to “Jon Gruden: I’d take Darren Waller over any tight end

  1. This dude is a beast!! Drafted him in fantasy this year and I agree with Gruen that he is up there with the best TEs from what we have seen thus far.

  2. Waller is a unique weapon. I haven’t seen him enough to judge his blocking, but as a receiver he’s pretty close to the top and he should only get better.

  3. Can’t argue as a 49ers fan. He looked unstoppable out there. Crazy that I’ve never heard of him before last night.

  4. @dreadpirate88

    He’s blocking is solid. Not great by any means but good enough. For a guy who played WR, he’s probably ahead of where you’d expect. He’s constantly improving.

  5. Waller is a baller! I never even heard of him until last night’s game and his speed and intensity were a sight to behold. He makes the Raiders fun to watch again. I’m rooting the guy!

  6. He’s a perfect fit in Gruden’s West Coast scheme and he has a clear chemistry with Carr. Hope he stays healthy cause if he does he could be really special for a long time.

  7. I was very disappointed when Baltimore cut him. Glad to see he landed on his feet. Still rooting for him!

  8. MiaButtreeks says:
    September 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm
    Can’t argue as a 49ers fan. He looked unstoppable out there. Crazy that I’ve never heard of him before last night.
    ***********************************************************************

    Apparently the Saints never heard of him either!

  9. That guy, right there, is as good as it gets. He is to the te position as as my guy, Derrick Carr, is to the qb position. Both are ballers, man. They grind big time. The Raiders flat out have some of the best talent in the league. I am so ahsumly stoked,man.

    Jonboy G.

  10. He single handedly beat the saints. The saints had no personnel to stop Waller, they tried just about everything.

  11. Waller was picked up from Baltimore’s practice squad. Whoever the scout was that spotted him deserves a bonus.

  12. Another draft pick of the best front office in the NFL, Baltimore! Kid had some problems off the field but man he turned it around into a great success story.

  13. Gruden is saying would any good coach (except maybe Bruce Arians) would say. Everyone would obviously take Kittle, Kelce and Andrews over Waller (right now). And there’s zero shame in that. Waller is a beast and is quickly entering the conversation with the other three.

  14. i prefer to stay under the radar, an underdog, and let the haters hate. No need for love now. Easier to accept that all the haters are just jealous.

    Go Raiders! Hate on haters!

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