For six weeks, Clive Walford was trapped behind two other tight ends on Oakland's depth chart.
Those days ended when Walford tracked down a perfect touchdown pass from Derek Carr on Sunday, though.
“(Carr) snapped the ball and I saw the way the defender played it,” Walford told Silver & Black Pride. “I felt like he was going to come at me, so I ran my route, cut back, saw the ball and knew I had to make a play on it.”
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So much for Walford's rookie grace period. He's reading defenses and adjusting like a 10-year veteran would.
The Raiders might be wise to anoint Walford as their future. They'd permit him to grow alongside Carr and wideout Amari Cooper into what could be a terrifying set of triplets.
That's the long-term plan, according to head coach Jack Del Rio. But that long-term plan might kick in this week.
Said Del Rio: “We think Clive's a good young football player that has a bright future who we want to develop him and grow him and have him be a big part of what we're doing.”