Most of the time, picks made in the fifth round or later are seen solely as developmental players. But the Oakland Raiders may have found a guy who will be a starter on day one for the team with Hunter Renfrow.
While guys later in the draft are often there because they are developmental prospects, some are there because of limited ceilings. Renfrow is a guy who falls into the latter camp.
Renfrow isn’t big or very fast and because of that, there is a belief that his ceiling is rather limited. But that being said, he’s got the tools to be a day one impact player who contributes to the Raiders offense in a big way, even if he may never be a Pro Bowl caliber pass catcher.
He’s got very good hands and he almost never lets a ball within his wingspan hit the ground and is good at making contested catches. He runs good routes and knows how to read a zone and find holes to sit in. Though he isn’t the fastest, he is shifty and can make people miss after the catch.
While the Raiders added a lot of pass catchers this offseason, most of them are not slot receivers. The only slot receiver the team signed was Ryan Grant, who has had a few nice seasons but nothing all that impressive.
With Renfrow, they get a guy who probably won’t ever be a top tier WR in the league, but who can be a star on the Raiders. With high quality pass catchers all over the Raiders offense, Renfrow is a guy who will likely be able to eat if for no other reason than the fact that there will be so much focus on guys like Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams on the outside.
Plus, after losing Jared Cook in free agency, Raiders QB Derek Carr could use a sure handed pass catcher to lean on. And while Foster Moreau looks promising, he might take a year or two to develop as a pass catcher. Meanwhile, Renfrow is ready to come in and be a starter who has an impact on day one (in the form of a slot receiver, because yes, I do consider the slot a starter).