Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft

Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft 2021 Scouting Report

Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft 2021 (Alabama)

Prospect Overview:

@CPGM Juice – Jaylen Waddle arrived in Tuscaloosa a year after Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith. Still, he made an immediate impact as a true freshman. The Texas native was a difference-maker on special teams and outpaced Ruggs in receiving yards. Waddle also finished with more receptions, yards and TDs than Smith as a freshman. However, 2018 proved to be Jaylen Waddle’s most productive season in terms of receiving totals. In 2019, Waddle continued his impressive play on special teams leading the nation in punt return average (24.4); and was a scoring threat everytime he touched the ball. But, he was fourth in the receiving pecking order managing just 33 grabs. However, the Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft Stock got off to a blistering start in 2020.

The Alabama speedster torched opposing defenses to the tune of 6/139/1 per game. Unfortunately, an ankle-injury brought what appeared to be the makings of a stellar season to a screeching halt. Suprisingly, Waddle played during the National Championship. Clearly hobbled and robbed of his trademark explosiveness it was a gutsy, if not ill-advised effort from the junior wideout. Subsequently, Jaylen Waddle declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. Waddle’s traits and his potential utility place him among the top wide receiver prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. The NFL continues to skew towards an inside-out passing game; and as a result Waddle should play his customary slot roll the vast majority of the time.

’18 tape watched: Louisville, Auburn , Georgia
’19 tape watched: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Texas
’20 tape watched: Missouri, Texas A&M, Mississippi, Georgia
Strenghts & Areas of Opportunity according to @CPGM Drew
  • Electric w/ the ball in his hands. 
  • Plays KR/PR (Dangerous).
  • While his former teammate Henry Ruggs has the same type of straight vertical speed, Waddle puts pressure on the opposition horizontally as well.
  • Quick twitch, stop start.
  • Has the ability to beat defender in so many ways due to his speed and quickness.
  • Will go up and get it.
  • Tracks the ball well.
  • Strong hands.
  • His ability to stick his foot in the ground and stop and start again then reaching full speed after 2 steps on the way to 3 is unlike anything I’ve seen.
  • I don’t want to say he converts speed to power but his ability to break tackles because of his speed and quix is special and best in class. It’s Saquon w/o the power. I think he is one of the special ones coming out. 
  • Never challenged in the slot, free release all day.

Next Level (NFL) Prognostication

@CPGM Juice – Routniely deployed from the slot, Waddle’s rare acceleration truly makes him a threat to score everytime he touches the ball; paricularly, when he catches the ball in stride. At full throttle Waddle eviscerates defensive back leverage and pursuit angles. Jaylen figures to be an invaluable chess piece in an NFL offense. From the slot, stacked releases and the consistent use of motion will put opposing defenses in a bind as they attempt to keep pace with his speed. Furthermore, the aforementioned will make it more difficult on the technically sound defensive back to mitigate Waddle’s explosiveness. This is signficant because press coverage becomes far less tenable. Additionally, Waddle’s quality route-running is under-appreciated.

It should be noted that Waddle has a tendency to catch the ball with his body which may lead to drops. Assuming he adjusts and keeps the ball away from his frame with more consistency it’s hard to imagine that he won’t have success. That being said, it remains to be seen whether phsyical press coverage is something he can overcome assuming the opposition is willing to challenge him.

Waddle’s Utility is Endless

Ideally, Jaylen Waddle will be utilized in a similiar fashion to Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs. Verticals, shallow/mesh and deep crossing routes from the slot; bubbles, comebacks outside of the numbers to take advantage of the cushion/respect for his speed and copious amounts of jet motion/jet sweep action allowing Waddle to utilize his gifts in the open field. Furthermore, Waddle brings immediate legitimacy to a team’s return game. At this juncture, Waddle is a more polished wide receiver than Tyreek Hill was upon entering the league. However, he doesn’t possess the instincts and “make you miss” Hill demonstrated from Day 1 in terms of being a ball-carrier.

Ultimately, the Jaylen Waddle NFL Draft Stock in the eyes of NFL teams will depend on how much an organization (or organizations) values speed and special teams contributions in lieu of prototypical size and classic “X” receiver traits. Waddle’s ability to meet his high ceiling will be contingent upon how creative a given team’s offensive play-caller is. Too often speedsters are pigeon-holed into being seldom used deep threats. Make no mistake, part of Jaylen Waddle’s allure is that he can take the top off of the defense thus opening up the field for other players. However, he is very much a wide receiver that can make plays at every level of the field. The goal should be to get Waddle as many touches in space as possible.

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