The Oakland Raiders were reportedly enamored with Clemson slot receiver Hunter Renfrow during the NFL Draft process. The former Tiger became a national name in college for his clutch play in the biggest games, especially those against Alabama in recent years.
At just 5-foot-10, 184 pounds, Renfrow doesn’t jump off the page as a major NFL prospect. Still, the Raiders jumped at him in April’s NFL Draft, taking him in the fifth round.
As it turns out, new general manager Mike Mayock was worried that he performed too well at the NFL Draft Combine, and was hoping things like his 4.59 40 time would be worse. He wound up trading up to select him.
NBC Sports’ Scott Bair shared as much in his evaluation of Renfrow with the Raiders.
Per Bair, Hunter Renfrow has impressed so far with the Oakland Raiders, and has a path to being a major contributor this season.
There’s always an adjustment period for rookies starting NFL work, but Raiders coaches were impressed by Renfrow’s steady improvement during the offseason program. Progress was shown in OTAs and minicamp, a positive step for a slot receiver who’s learning every receiver position. That’s a Jon Gruden mandate for everyone in the corps, though doing well in the slot could be the fast way to significant snaps. Renfrow’s a quick study and an excellent route runner, so that’s a challenge he’ll continue to meet once training camp begins.
Bair outlines the best and worst case scenarios for Renfrow. He believes the former Clemson star could challenge for the slot receiver job, but will likely be fighting for a role in the offense come the regular season.
“Renfrow will be in the mix for sure, and he should carve out ways to contribute as a rookie. He might not start the season as the No. 3 guy or regular slot receiver, but his role could increase over time if he proves as reliable as he was in college.”
That is probably all you can expect of Renfrow in year one, but clearly the Raiders brass believe his big game ability can translate to the next level.