lee smith


Former Raiders TE Lee Smith.

After a 4-2 start to the season, the Las Vegas Raiders should have their eyes on the playoffs. They are one of the few teams in the NFL that uses three tight ends often. However, Derek Carrier is out for the season and Nick Bowers is banged up. Right now, Darren Waller and Foster Moreau are the only healthy reliable tight ends on the roster.

With only two tight ends, the Raiders’ offense takes a serious hit. The team should be in the market for another one. The trade deadline is approaching and there could be some interesting options available to the team. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur believes the Raiders should trade a sixth-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for tight end Lee Smith.

Raiders fans will be very familiar with Smith as he played four seasons with the team, starting in 32 games. He’s only caught 71 passes over his 11-year career so he’s not much of a threat in the receiving game. He’s an excellent block and did catch three touchdown passes from Derek Carr back in 2018. Smith would be a solid addition for the Raiders as they struggled to stay healthy at tight end.

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Raiders Need to Get Waller & Moreau Going

darren waller

GettyDarren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders.

After a huge Week 1 where Waller caught 10 passes for 105 yards, he hasn’t been as much of a focal point for the offense. He hasn’t caught more than five passes for 65 yards in a game since the opener. That’s a bit of a surprise considering how big of a part of the offense he was last season.

Moreau played in all 16 games last season but saw his role decrease because of Jason Witten joining the team. It was expected that he’d have a bigger role this year but only has four catches for one touchdown. The Raiders aren’t really feeding their tight ends this season. That hasn’t necessarily hurt the team as they sit tied for first place in the AFC West with a 4-2 record. That said, it would make the offense more dynamic if they were able to get the tight ends involved at a better rate.

WR Play Has Lessened TE Impact

A big reason Waller was so heavily used last season was due to the fact that the Raiders wide receivers didn’t play well. It’s been a different case this year. Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards have developed into dependable players. In fact, Ruggs leads the Raiders with 445 receiving yards. Add the fact that Hunter Renfrow is as dependable as ever and the team has a diverse passing attack.

Opposing teams still put a big focus on Waller because is Las Vegas’ most dangerous target. That’s opened up things for Ruggs and Edwards. Soon, teams will realize that they can’t just focus on locking Waller down and that will open things up for him. The star tight end is due for a big game and it could be coming soon. He’s still one of the three best tight ends in the NFL.

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