With the sixth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dolphins have selected Jaylen Waddle, WR from Alabama. This is an exciting pick that is great for numerous reasons! Let’s break it all down now:
The WR Core has improved drastically
Before his season-ending injury, Waddle had 28 catches for 591 yards (21.1 yard average per catch) and four touchdowns. He always posted 100+ yard receiving yard games, exempting the championship game. His best game last season was against #3 ranked Georgia, where he had six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Waddle is one of the most eruptive and dynamic players in this draft with the fact that he can hit his top speed in the blink of an eye while burning the secondary with absolute ease. His route running is spectacular, and his catching is so soft that any ball can be reeled in, whether it’s a lob pass or a dart straight down the gut. As I said in a recent article breaking down the top four players the Dolphins could draft, with his skill set, he can make a first-string CB into a backup CB if he chooses to do so.
He will also be playing alongside Will Fuller V, who was having a spectacular season before he was suspended for PEDS. He will also be playing with DeVante Parker, who had 63 receptions last season for 793 yards and four touchdowns. This core has improved drastically, and Tua seems to have all the tools needed with DeVante Parker, Will Fuller V, Preston Williams, Mike Gesicki, and now Jaylen Waddle.
A sweet punt/kick returner too?
That’s right! If there’s something to prove to you that he’s dynamic, it’s the fact that Waddle would be a fantastic punt returner too. He has shown great downfield vision, and with his speed and overall athleticism, he can run past the punt unit in a flash. He’s also a great kick returner too, as he has blown a 98-yard kick return for a touchdown.
This man is a force to be reckoned with, no matter where he is returning from. He has an opportunity to be the Devin Hester in terms of returning, not receiving. He’s an amazing catcher and returner that’ll be fun to watch for years to come!
Back with an old friend
Waddle will be reunited with former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In Tua’s final season with them in 2019, he had 33 catches for 560 yards and six touchdowns and we can’t forget he was behind Ruggs, Jeudy, and Smith on the depth chart. These two are an exciting duo that will be exciting to watch next season. We could see record-breaking numbers for Tua and Waddle if they combine just like they did in Alabama.
Where will Waddle probably be?
Waddle will probably be in the slot for his rookie season and could move up to either the left or right side of the field the following season. This is mainly because Fuller, who was recently signed, thrives on the left side and Parker will be on the right mainly due to experience. This isn’t a surprise at all; even if he’s in the slot, he could still have a fantastic year and could snag a Pro Bowl this season.
Waddle will be a must-watch player next season. Whether you’re a Dolphins fan or not, it’ll be exciting to see what this young rookie can do. He has a chance to do many great things in Miami, and the sky is the limit for what he can do!
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