The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Jaylen Waddle 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Jaylen Waddle Background
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 5-foot-10, 182 pounds
2020 stats: 28 receptions, 591 yards, 4 touchdown catches, 21.1 yards per reception
Alabama has had a lot of playmakers over the last several years and Waddle is one of the best. After a great college career, he is entering his name into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Waddle was one of the best players in Texas out of high school, but chose to leave the state and go to Alabama. He was a Freshman All-American in his first year on campus with 45 catches for 848 yards and seven touchdowns. Alabama lost the National Championship Game to Clemson that season. He followed up his freshman season with 33 receptions for 560 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. The Crimson Tide won the Citrus Bowl over Michigan to end a solid year. Waddle played in just six games as a junior with 28 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns. He missed half the season with an ankle injury, but returned for the National Championship Game, which Alabama won.
Following his great three seasons in Tuscaloosa, Waddle has proven himself to be a good draft prospect. He is currently projected to be a first round pick.
Waddle’s greatest strength is his ability to run after the catch. Once the ball is in his hands, he has great vision as a ball carrier. He also has the necessary speed, quickness and agility to make defenders miss. On plays that don’t seem like they are going anywhere, Waddle can make big things happen because of his ability to make defenders miss. This also helped him be a great returner at Alabama.
He is a deep-threat, who consistently had big plays for Alabama. His 21.1 yards per reception during his junior season proves how much of a threat he is to defense on deep plays. Waddle uses his speed to get past defenders, even after they know what route he is running. If paired with a true deep ball thrower in the NFL, Waddle can do some real damage.
His speed is among the best in the draft class for wide receivers. This helps him in run after the catch scenarios and on deep balls. He also has the acceleration to get to his top speed quickly. Outside of Anthony Schwartz from Auburn, Waddle may be the fastest receiver in the class on a play-speed basis.
His frame is slight for an NFL wide receiver. He stands 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds. This makes him a good slot receiver, but he also plays on the outside. Waddle will need to add play strength to sustain blocks and to help beat press coverage. It may also help prevent his body from taking a beating.
Waddle has decent hands, but he did have some focus drops at Alabama. In addition to the focus drops, he also didn’t always have success on contested catches. Waddle needs to come back to the football and make sure he catches it then bring it into his body to secure the catch.
A lot of Waddle’s success getting open was because of play design and his speed. He ran a lot of different routes at Alabama, but he needs to make sure he runs crisper routes. Waddle has the speed, agility and quickness to be a devastating route-runner if he works on it. If he works on attacking corners from snap to finish and setting them up, he will develop nicely in the NFL.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick
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