Player Profile: Jaylen Waddle

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 182 lbs
School: Alabama
NFL Comparison: Brandin Cooks

Why you’re drafting him…

Waddle is a fantastic receiver and deserves so much more credit than just another “next Tyreek Hill” type of player comparison. Obviously, the dude’s got burners and can run a sub-4.3 40-time (fastest unofficial time I’ve found was 4.27 seconds… sheesh) but he’s an excellent receiver in general, which is why I’ve compared him to Brandin Cooks. More specifically, he reminds of the Cooks we saw from 2015-2018 where he was exceptional and finished as a top-15 PPR receiver in fantasy leagues every single one of those years. Oh, and for those of you wondering, Cooks ran a 4.33 40-time. Anyway, while watching Waddle’s film, I’ve found myself jaw dropped and saying “No F***ing Way!” on a handful of his routes. He’s got great fluidity and adjusts to the ball well. For what it’s worth, he was out-pacing DeVonta Smith on the season before going down with a season-ending injury. He finished with only six games played, but caught 28 balls over that span for 591 yards (21.1 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. Don’t get it twisted though; Waddle is great all over the field. He’s so much more than a speedster/vertical threat that many are simply calling him. His shifty playstyle, speed and acceleration off of the line could be absolutely deadly at the next level

Needs to improve…

I know I had mentioned that my jaw dropped on some of his routes, but I’ve gotta admit, there were a handful of routes that left more to be desired. He’s a crisp runner that can stop on a dime, but he rounds out of a decent amount of routes which won’t work all too well at the next level. My other concern with him is that he seems to have a bad habit of overusing his body when making the catch. He’ll have to work on getting his hands out and extending his arms if he wants to have the advantage on contested catches in the NFL. The biggest concern for Waddle would be his injury history, but this is something that only time can fix. I’d like to think that his downfalls are very fixable though and I’d confidently bank on him excelling as a pro

Prediction for 2021 NFL Draft…

Waddle is a near lock to be drafted in the top 10 on draft day. My most likely spots for him would be with Philly at #6, Detroit at #7, or with New York (Giants) at #11. He’s definitely in the top tier of receivers in an absolutely loaded class and should make an immediate impact on whichever roster he ends up on

Dynasty fantasy football spin…

Waddle is a surefire top-eight pick in 1QB leagues. I could see him falling a spot or two if he lands in Detroit, but he’s such a supreme talent that you’d be wise to forget about landing spot and grab him anyway. If he lands on one of the three teams I mentioned above, he’ll factor in as the team’s day one WR1 and could be considered as a high-upside WR3 from a fantasy perspective. He’s one of the small handful of players in this draft class that I’d probably be comfortable with rolling as a starter in week one

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