When the Raiders traded up for All-American tight end Michael Mayer, the expectation was that they would feature him right away. With Darren Waller gone, there were just more snaps available for Mayer in the offense right away.
However, that hasn’t been the case at all for the rookie tight end from Notre Dame as he’s seen just two total targets in the first two games of the season. In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they wrote about Mayer’s lack of usage in the passing game.
Second-round tight end Michael Mayer played a career-high 34 snaps on Sunday. He was targeted just once in the passing game despite running 20 routes, but he graded well as a pass-blocker on first review, keeping a perfect slate across six pass-blocking snaps.
The Raiders are having a hard time converting on third down to start the year, so it’s pretty shocking that the team has avoided throwing to Mayer and Hunter Renfrow almost entirely. Both players excel in the middle of the field and yet, have been mostly ignored in the passing game.
It does take tight ends some time in the NFL, but with players like Sam LaPorta and Dalton Kincaid already producing as rookies, it’s not hard to wonder why Mayer hasn’t been more involved.
The good news is that his snaps continue to rise and it’s fair to expect some more targets over the upcoming weeks. But the Raiders shouldn’t wait much longer to get their second-round pick more involved in the offense.