Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller was named the recipient of the seventh annual Craig Long Award Thursday, becoming the award’s first two-time honoree.
Chosen by a select group of local media and facilitated by the Las Vegas Raiders’ Media Relations department, the Craig Long Award is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies professionalism and collaboration with the media at large.
Waller, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl last week, enters the regular-season finale with a team-high 98 receptions for 1,079 yards and eight touchdowns. He broke Todd Christensen’s 34-year-old team record for single-season receptions by a tight end last week and he also became the first Raiders tight end since Christensen to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
Waller’s 98 receptions rank second on the Raiders’ all-time list behind Tim Brown’s 104 catches in 1997 and he enters Week 17 with the second-most receptions among NFL tight ends this season. Originally a sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, Waller was signed by the Raiders from the Ravens practice squad prior to Week 13 in 2018.
Long, who passed away in 2007 at age 36, was a valuable member of the Raiders’ Public Relations staff from 1997-2004. A native of Iowa, Long fulfilled his childhood dream of working in the front office for his favorite team.
Craig Long Award Winners
- 2020 – TE Darren Waller
- 2019 – TE Darren Waller
- 2018 – DE Frostee Rucker
- 2017 – RB Jalen Richard
- 2016 – T Donald Penn
- 2015 – S Charles Woodson
- 2014 – DL Antonio Smith