Jaylen Waddle 2021 NFL Draft Profile
Jaylen Waddle, the Alabama wide receiver, is one of the most physically gifted prospects heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Waddle is expected to be taken at the top end of the first round. Waddle is a fantastic talent but what exactly does he bring to the table? Here’s your Vendetta Sports Jaylen Waddle 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Waddle has some red flags but they’re far less than the typical small wide receiver. Sure, Waddle checks in at 5-foot-10, 182, but he plays much stronger than that. Waddle has been hurt in college but it came while returning kicks. I’m not sure you want him doing that at the NFL level despite the fact that he’s elite at that skill set.
There’s a raw skill set to Waddle but it’s also part of what makes him special. He’s also maybe not the most polished route runner either. He also wasn’t asked to run fancy routes at Alabama either. Given his explosion and raw talent, I’m not sure either of these are red flags.
Waddle is a different breed. He’s some sort of alien unicorn super-being. In six games this year, Waddle posted a stat line of 28 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns. Yes, that’s a 21.1 yard per catch mark. That’s not normal. That’s not supposed to happen.
Stats don’t always tell the story but they do in this instance. His speed is just on another gear. It’s really the only player I’d even feel comfortable comparing him to Tyreek Hill. Waddle’s speed at least feels on par or comparable. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and DeVonta Smith are not as fast or purely explosive as Waddle is.
Waddle can score on any place on the field. He’s a mismatch nightmare. It’s hard to find a corner that’s fast enough to guard him. Waddle creates separation easily and his cuts in and out of breaks look like some sort of a cheat code in Madden. There’s also a power element to his game. His legs are thick and can power through when needed.
Waddle is also the best return specialist in the country. He’s taken two kicks and a punt to the house on a limited number of attempts. Two years ago, Waddle averaged 24.4 yards per kick return and 35 yards per punt return. I don’t know what to tell you. The guy is a nightmare in open space.
I have Jaylen Waddle number two on my wide receiver rankings. Yes, ahead of DeVonta Smith. In fact, I’d probably have Waddle ranked ahead of all of his former Alabama teammates. There’s such a uniqueness to Waddle’s game. He’s undersized but players like this just don’t grow on trees. Waddle is more than just special. He’s one of a kind.