Hunter Renfrow's NFL career got off to a slow start through the first six games, but he exploded on the scene Sunday in Houston.
During the first quarter of the Raiders' Week 8 matchup with the Texans at NRG Stadium, quarterback Derek Carr dropped back and hit the rookie wide receiver on a slant. The Clemson product broke two tackles and raced 65 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
The score gave the Silver and Black and early 7-0 lead, but the Texans answered quickly with Deshaun Watson hitting Duke Johnson for a 12-yard score to tie the game at seven.
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The Raiders have been looking to get more out of a thin receiving corps, and Renfrow making an impact would go a long way toward making the offense more lethal in the passing game.
Two notable Raiders additions in the offseason, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, met with the media via a Zoom call Monday.
Here are five takeaways on what was said.
1. One major reason the Raiders brought in Witten, who became one of the NFL’s top tight ends over 16 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, was for his veteran leadership. Coach Jon Gruden even asked Witten to speak to the team a few days ago about the importance of high character.
“It’s vital,” Witten said. “This league’s too hard regardless of how talented you are, and I shared this with the guys. … The margin for error is so small in this league that’s how you have to approach it. I was blown away by the skill set. You can see it. I’ve also seen the guys love football. They work hard. They’re accountable.”
It's no secret how fast Raiders rookie receiver Henry Ruggs is. With his 4.27 40-yard dash speed, he's in the end zone in the blink of an eye.
The Raiders were enamored with Ruggs' speed, and rightfully so. That certainly played a big role in the Silver and Black selecting the former Alabama receiver with the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But it wasn't the only reason.
Ruggs had some of the best hands in the draft, and he proved that with an insane one-handed grab for a touchdown early on in Raiders training camp.
It's easy to see why the Raiders fell in love with Ruggs before the draft. He tallied 86 receptions for 1,487 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns his final two years for the Crimson Tide. Ruggs should have a big role in the offense, and the hope is he connects right away with quarterback Derek Carr.
So far, so good.
Ruggs should be used all over the field as a rookie, as the Raiders find ways to get the ball in his hands. And it appears he will start off in the slot.
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“We’ll start with Ruggs III in the slot and do some things with Ruggs III," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said to reporters last week, via Raiders Wire. "But those guys (Ruggs and Bryan Edwards) are very multiple in what they can do and that’s the goal is to be able to move all of them around to different spots; the one, two or three position at the wide receiver.”
Whether it be on the inside or outside, Ruggs will play a big part in the Raiders' offense right away. His ridiculous one-handed grab was just another preview of what's to come.