4 players the Panthers need to keep quiet against the Raiders

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Henry Ruggs III
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Henry Ruggs III /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Darren Waller /

Darren Waller – TE

To say that Darren Waller enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Raiders in 2019 would be something of an understatement. The tight end finally put his outstanding skill set to good use to put together a phenomenal campaign that saw him emerge as one of the NFL’s best pass-catching weapons at the position.

Waller had a bit-part role with the Baltimore Ravens and during his first campaign working under Jon Gruden. Patience is not normally a virtue when it comes to player personnel. But after gaining just 178 receiving yards in his first three seasons, he more than made the most out of his opportunity to shine in a more prominent role.

The former Georgia Tech star was an absolute revelation for the Raiders last season on his way to 90 receptions, 1,145 receiving yards, three touchdowns, and a yards-per-catch average of 12.3. Waller was utilized heavily by quarterback Derek Carr and managed to attain a lofty 83.6 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts.

This might represent a matchup problem for the Carolina Panthers. They might end up using rookie defender Jeremy Chinn in coverage from the outside linebacker spot and he is listed as a co-starter opposite Shaq Thompson on the team’s first unofficial depth chart.

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He would be getting a significant test in the form of Waller, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Of all the weapons available to the Raiders, their tight end might be the most dangerous.