NFL Draft 2021: With the sixth overall pick, the Miami Dolphins select Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft
Kyle Heim

The Miami Dolphins selected Alabama wide receiver, Jaylen Waddle, with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would be particularly excited about this pick as it not only gives him another weapon but also reunites him with a former teammate.

ESPN's Mike Greenberg said in a league where everyone is trying to find the next Tyreek Hill, Waddle may be the closest thing.

How does Jaylen Waddle help the Dolphins in his first year?

While the Miami Dolphins already have depth at wide receiver, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle provides the team with more of a home-run threat similar to Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill.

Alabama’s top wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith overshadowed Waddle with his record-shattering 2020 season. But when Waddle got the opportunity, he produced at a high level.

Sharing a similar build to Smith at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, Waddle served as a great deep threat for quarterback Mac Jones and left Alabama with three of the top-five longest scoring catches in school history.

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle breaks away for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs in a game from 2018.
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle breaks away for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs in a game from 2018.

The junior from Houston, Texas, played in half of Alabama’s regular-season games before suffering an ankle injury on the opening kickoff against Tennessee on Oct. 24, 2020. He still managed 591 yards receiving on 28 catches for 21.1 yards per catch mark that led the team.

Waddle returned for the College Football Playoff National Championship game and caught three passes for 34 yards while playing through an ankle injury. He finished his collegiate career averaging 18.9 yards per catch, ranking second in Alabama history.

Waddle also excelled in returning punts, averaging 19.3 yards per return across three seasons, making him one of the quickest and most explosive wide receivers in the NFL draft.

Walking without a limp onto the NFL Draft stage, it appears the ankle injury is no longer an issue.

Waddle has the potential to make an immediate impact

As long as Waddle manages to stay healthy he’ll slide right in as one of Miami’s top receivers alongside Will Fuller V and DeVante Parker.

Catching passes from former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa should allow for a smooth transition for Waddle into the NFL.

The Dolphins have seven picks remaining in the draft:

  • Round 1, pick 18
  • Round 2, pick 36
  • Round 2, pick 50
  • Round 3, pick 81
  • Round 5, pick 156
  • Round 7, pick 231
  • Round 7, pick 258

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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