Jaylen Waddle was the sixth overall pick in the draft for a reason. He’s an explosive playmaker out of the slot, with the ability to turn short catches into big gains. Per PFF, no Power-5 WR with over 100 receptions since 2014 averaged more YAC per reception than Waddle (9.8). Better yet, he gets reunited with his college quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Playing with his former QB should help Waddle’s rookie transition.
Waddle joins a crowded receiving corps that brings back playmakers DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki, while also bringing in veteran Will Fuller. He’s also joining a Dolphins offense with Tagovailoa at QB, who finished below 200 passing yards in five of his nine starts (and below 100 in three of those). Waddle is also returning from a broken right ankle he suffered in his final season at Alabama.
2021 Bottom Line
Waddle is an exciting prospect as a rookie. As 4for4’s John Paulsen notes, since 2010, the seven receivers drafted inside the top 10 who have played at least 13 games as rookies have averaged 61-915-6.9 on 113 targets. In other words, if a team is going to draft a receiver that high, they usually get involved quickly. While Fuller and Parker are going to get their share of targets, their presence isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Waddle will be playing in the slot most of the time, eating the targets, not on the outside. We like Waddle as a strong WR3 this year, inside the top 40 overall receivers.