Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft Prospect Profile

Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft Profile, Highlights and NFL Comparison

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • 2021 NFL Draft Prospect
  • 2021 NFL Draft Prospects
  • Alabama
  • Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Alabama Football
  • Draft
  • Draft Prospect
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • NFl Draft
  • Prospect Profile
  • Roll Tide
  • Scouting Report
  • SEC
  • Wide Receiver
  • WR
By Tayyib Abu March 31, 2021 0 Comment
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Jaylen Waddle is a 2021 NFL Draft prospect.

Jaylen Waddle is a wide receiver from Alabama and a prospect in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Waddle played in six games for the Crimson Tide this season with three starts. He caught 28 balls on 32 targets (87.5%, one drop) for 591 yards (21.1 YPC) with four touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Waddle ranked 23rd among wide receivers in college football (20 target minimum) with an Offensive grade of 82.6 (84.7 Receiving, 79.5 Drops, 55.2 Run Blocking).

Waddle was an exceptionally-highly ranked recruit coming out high school. He was a consensus four-star prospect and earned offers from 25 schools, including Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Texas A&M. He ultimately chose Alabama, and contributed immediately as a freshman. Waddle saw action as a punt returner on special teams and as a wide receiver, playing in all 15 games and earning SEC Freshman of the Year. 

READ MORE: Can 2021’s Receiver Class Be the Greatest Ever?

In 2019, Waddle’s numbers declined, but he still enjoyed a strong season as a receiver and returner, racking up 1227 all-purpose yards in 13 games; he also earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the nation in punt return average. Going into the 2020 season, Waddle was poised for a breakout year, with former teammates Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III moving on to the NFL as first-round picks. However, on the opening kickoff of the Crimson Tide’s seventh game versus Tennessee, Waddle suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Shockingly, he was able to return for the national championship game against Ohio State, albeit in a limited fashion. 

Waddle’s talent makes him a fit for any team in the NFL. His route-running is high-quality; he will run the full NFL route-tree. That makes him an ideal fit for any team wanting a number one wideout. His speed, YAC ability, and twitchy athleticism make him a fascinating proposition for the NFL.

His weaknesses are his lack of size and physical strength. Waddle may get knocked around and beaten up by bigger defensive backs; he will need to learn how to defeat longer corners at the line of scrimmage. With that being said, Waddle is surprisingly effective in jump ball and contested catch situations. He displays the toughness and timing to fight for the ball. Overall, Waddle will be a dangerous weapon for almost every team as a receiver and returner.

Scouting Capsule

Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft Prospect Profile

Measurements & Pro Day

At Alabama, Jaylen Waddle was listed at 5’10” and 182 pounds. Waddle attended Alabama’s second pro-day; however, he took no part in the activities, due to an ankle injury.

Highlights

Strengths

  • Elite play speed allows him to beat cornerbacks quickly and attack vertically with ease
  • Very smooth route-runner, possessing good rhythm and understanding of how to attack coverages, threatening vertical to get DBs off-balance.
  • Good hands, consistent when open and surprisingly effective when forced to make tough catch; smoothly turns into a runner immediately after the catch.
  • Waddle is a game-changing big-play receiver, as he is a threat to score from anywhere on the field;
  • He is a matchup nightmare that can line up as the X, Z, or slot receiver; can run the full NFL route-tree and will contribute as a return specialist.

Weaknesses

  • Waddle is a tad undersized, which may hurt him against big, athletic cornerbacks; struggles to break tackles with physicality
  • He is inexperienced as a number one target; Alabama’s wideout production line inhibited his snaps as WR1
  • Ankle injury limited his testing; teams will need confirmation he is fully healthy.

NFL Comparison

Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs, 2016 – Present)

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