The Fins: What Can Fans Expect From Jaylen Waddle
By Space Coast Daily // June 4, 2021
Jaylen Waddle is the young, fiery wide receiver who was snapped up by Miami as the sixth overall pick in the 2021 Draft. He is now able to link back up with college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Not only has this combination got tongues wagging across the league, Jaylen is already regarded as one of the best young talents in the league, and is already tipped to be one of the best wide receivers in the game for the past decade. This is what Miami fans can expect from him if they’re betting on Miami to get to the Super Bowl.
Waddle’s skill, for such a young player, is almost unmatched. At college, he was a player who was expected to do everything. Nick Saban wouldn’t let you play at Alabama unless you were a player who was not only willing to do everything, but had the skill to do it all.
He is also a very intelligent player. He isn’t just a running and catching robot. He is able to very quickly understand those blocking him, and is able to adjust his play style to exploit their weaknesses.
It is also notable to mention the fact that even those in Miami have mentioned that mentally he is a strong player, and is more than capable of performing at the highest level, as well as making sure those around him perform to their best ability.
While he is exceptional in offense, being able to catch, run and score almost every single time a ball is thrown his way, is also a massive bonus to Special Teams. For Alabama, he averaged 19.3 yards per punt return, with two career touchdowns on 38 chances. He also famously scored an amazing kickoff return touchdown.
Matt Harmon, the creator of Reception Perception, scored Waddle an 80% success rate on post routes, 73.7% on takeoff routes and an 80% success rate on slants. If these kinds of numbers don’t make Miami fans excited to see him in action, nothing will. Let’s not ignore the fact that he has also been called one of the best punt and kickoff returners the NFL has ever seen in years.
Strength and Speed
With players across the board getting seemingly bigger and bigger every single season, there were some questions raised about Waddle’s size. However, many believe he is actually right around a great size for his style of play.
While he is most definitely going to put on a few pounds while at Miami, his size barely impeded him while he was at Alabama, and therefore there is little reason to believe it will hinder him in the slightest in Miami.
Waddle didn’t take part in any pre-draft testing, but as a prep, he ran a 4.37, 40-yard dash. The NFL has implemented GPS tracking, to measure a player’s game speed and movement.
Many who have watched him have said that not only does he have incredible acceleration from a standing start, he is able to move along routes like he is on skates, and seemingly flies through the air when jumping for and catching the ball.
Link with Tua
One of the most exciting prospects of Waddle joining the Dolphins is the fact that he will be able to link back up again with former college teammate and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Any great team needs a winning quarterback/wide receiver combination, and Miami may have struck gold with theirs.
Tua may not be viewed as one of the best quarterbacks in the league right now, and with Trevor Lawrence entering the fray, he is most definitely going to need to up his game if he is going to put Miami on the map.
This means that right now is the perfect time for a player like Waddle to enter the fray. A young quarterback and receiver combination will do wonders for any team, especially since the young receiver in question is famous for his ability to make all those around him far better players.
Not only is this relationship with Tua one to be excited about, Miami have also made it clear that he will be able to compete for a starting spot from the get-go. He isn’t expected to just sit around and wait, he will be thrown into the deep end.
They also believe he will succeed since he doesn’t need time to warm up to the big leagues, he is there already. This is the type of luxury any team or coach would pay top dollar to have.
Miami may have hit the jackpot when it comes to young Jaylen Waddle. A proven talent at Alabama, with the mentality and skill to perform at the highest level already, his connection with Tua could also prove to be a game changer in the long run.
It is just a matter of time before we see the best of Waddle, but no matter who you support, you should be keen to see the young gun in full flight.