The Raiders didn’t select Hunter Renfrow until the fifth round of last year’s draft, yet he turned out to be one of the best value picks of any team in the NFL in 2019.
The Raiders had a terrific crop of rookies that included three first-round picks in defensive end Clelin Ferrell, safety Johnathan Abram and running back Josh Jacobs, plus defensive end Maxx Crosby, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and tight end Foster Moreau.
All contributed to a team that jumped from 4-12 in 2018 to 7-9.
But in terms of value for production, Renfrow was extremely valuable.
The analytic website Pro Football Focus graded Jacobs as No. 4 overall for best rookie value for his 1,150 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, but right behind at No. 6 was Renfrow.
While missing three games, Renfrow caught 49 passes for 605 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 12.3 yards per reception. He came to be one of Derek Carr’s favorite receivers and had his two best games to finish the season vs. the Chargers and Broncos. In those games he had 13 catches for 209 yards and two TDs.
Wrote Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus: “He stepped up as a legitimate weapon within a depleted receiving corps. Renfrow was a vital piece to Jon Gruden’s West Coast offense and has fit right in. He earned the NFL’s sixth-best receiving grade on quick passes of 2.0 seconds or less, and he generated the league’s second-best passer rating (136.4) on those same throws.
“While the Raiders failed to make the postseason this year, it’s clear they have one of the NFL’s rising slot receivers in Hunter Renfrow.”
Plus, as a fifth-round pick, Renfrow is a bargain. He’s due to make just $663,997 in 2020, with that salary rising to about $754,000 and $844,000 in the following two seasons.