Hunter Renfrow finished the season seventh among rookies in receiving yards with 605 to go along with four touchdowns on 49 receptions.
Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but as a fifth-round pick, it was clear he needed to adjust to the speed of the game during the first half of the season. And it shows just with the eye test when you compare how he looked in the first half of the season versus the second half.
When you dig deeper into the statistics, they tell a better story of how effective Renfrow was for the Raiders offense. Despite only playing 54 percent of the offensive snaps, Renfrow finished 23rd in the NFL in yards after catch with 305.
That is a stat that should make many shake their heads as Renfrow’s biggest knock coming out of college was his athleticism and the fact that he wasn’t a guy who should be expected to make explosive plays with the ball in his hands.
What Renfrow was known for was his consistent hands and ability to find the open zone in the defense, which is how he got the nickname “third-and-Renfrow” at Clemson.
Of his 49 receptions, 31 were for first downs. That means over half of his catches are for first downs.
He definitely lives up to his nickname.
Another interesting stat is his nine red zone receptions which ranked 13th in the league.
Renfrow’s route running ability and overall football smarts allow him to improvise when need be. We already know he excels in finding the soft spot in the defense, and those two abilities together make him a nice red-zone target despite his lack of size.
Nothing displays that better than this play I’m sure you all remember vividly.
Renfrow is the only wide receiver Derek Carr seemed to trust and have real chemistry with, so it will be exciting to see how that connection grows.
As a fifth-round pick, Renfrow definitely exceeded expectations this year and should be considered one of the steals of the draft.