Hunter Renfrow just keeps producing.
Renfrow mainly received offers from FCS coming out of high school and did not have a star in his ranking, based on 247Sports composite ratings. But he kept walking with Clemson and quickly became one of Clemson’s most productive receivers, racking up at least 490 receiving yards in each of his four seasons as a Tiger en route to winning a pair of national championships.
The Raiders took him 149th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he’s still making an impact. Despite being among the shortest players in the NFL this season, Renfrow was Derek Carr’s main target all year, hauling in 103 passes for 1,038 receiving yards with nine touchdowns, which were career highs across the board. .
Renfrow is in rare company for his 1,000-yard receiving season, as few shorter than him have accomplished the feat.
How tall is Hunter Renfrow?
Renfrow is just 5-10, making him one of the shortest regulars in the NFL today.
According to Stathead, only 20 players this season appeared in the 17 games that were shorter than Renfrow, while another 20 were tied with him at 5-10. The shortest players in the postseason are Eagles running back Boston Scott and Patriots running back JJ Taylor, who are 5-6. They are tied with the Saints’ Deonte Harris.
Renfrow isn’t alone in the impressive short receiver mold, either. There were six other players in the NFL this season 5-10 or fewer who recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards, according to Stathead.
1,000-yard receivers in the NFL
It may seem like Renfrow has a lot of company, but historically speaking, he, along with the other 5-10 and shorter receivers in the league, remain an outlier.
There have been 332 receivers to record at least one season with 1,000 or more receiving yards. Only 45 have been 5-10 or less. There were seven in 2021, which is tied for the most in a single season with 2016.
Here’s a look at every season a receiver had at least 1,000 yards. Renfrow is marked with an icon in the “70” column.
The shortest player to record a 1,000-yard season is Chargers running back/receiver hybrid Lionel James, who caught 86 passes for 1,027 yards in 1985. He is 5-6. The tallest is 6-8 Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael, who had three 1,000-yard seasons.
Among receivers under 6 feet, Renfrow’s 1,038 is the 164th highest in a single season. Antonio Brown, also 5-10, has the two best seasons with 1,834 in 2015 and 1,698 in 2014. In his career, Steve Smith Sr. leads all receivers under 6 feet with 14,731 receiving yards. Smith is 5-9.
How the Raiders use Renfrow
Renfrow is not a burner like Hill and Waddle. Among wide receivers drafted in 2019, his time of 4.59 40 at the NFL Combine was seventh-slowest, by Stathead. He has not set the team’s fastest time this season in any game, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. By comparison, Carr was the team’s fastest runner three times.
But speed has never been part of his game. Instead, Renfrow has found success as a corner-missing slot receiver with exceptional road running and tackle-breaking ability.
According to Pro Football Focus, Renfrow forced 14 missed tackles in 2021, the 10th-most among NFL receivers. However, he had the third-shortest average depth of shot, catching passes an average of just 6.8 yards from the line of scrimmage. Despite that, he converted it to 1.94 yards per road rush, tied for 15th, as did his 4.4 yards after receiving catches.
The Raiders also aren’t trying to set him up to be a deep target. He lined up in space on 64.3 percent of his snaps, seventh-most in the NFL.
Carr can also rely on him as a safe target. Renfrow’s 2.8 percent slump rate was fifth-lowest in the league among qualified receivers, by PFF.
Renfrow has been an invaluable weapon for the Raiders this season, and he will look to keep his team alive when the Raiders take on the Bengals at 4:30 pm ET in Cincinnati on Saturday.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.