The ability of Raiders TE Clive Walford to attack defenses down the middle should take some of the pressure off receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Walford had 28 catches for 329 yards and three touchdowns in an injury-riddled rookie season and easily could double those numbers this season.
“He has a lot of ability, so we’re looking for him to be a big part of what we do,” Musgrave said.
A 56-658-6 season would have made Walford the #12 TE in PPR formats (#9 in standard), so those are high expectations for the second-year tight end. He played at a 2.3-26.5-0.27 pace over the final 11 games. Those are solid TE2-type numbers from a rookie tight end, and rookie tight ends are notoriously disappointing. He’s playing in an ascending offense with an up-and-coming quarterback, so there’s potential here.