NFL Draft: Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle is WR1 in loaded class

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Jaylen Waddle

Jaylen Waddle. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2021 NFL Draft draws closer, just a month and a half out, the deep dive on these prospects are well underway. After an incredibly deep 2020 NFL Draft crop of wide receivers that included Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, and more, the 2021 class may be just as deep (if not deeper). Sitting atop this class, however? Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle.

Standing at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, Waddle’s play strength is off the charts as he dominated defensive backs this season before suffering a devastating ankle injury. Waddle returned for the National Championship win against the Ohio State Buckeyes, but a lot of meat was left on the bone as he appeared in just six games this season.

Limited time or not, Waddle is the most dynamic receiver in this class, and we take a look at why here.

Looking at the box score of Jaylen Waddle

Waddle has been an immediate contributor for the Crimson Tide since he stepped foot on campus, despite playing with the likes of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and DeVonta Smith the entire time. As a freshman in 2018, Waddle racked up 848 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 catches. Last year, in 2019, Waddle followed that up with 560 yards and six touchdowns on 33 catches.

This season, however, Waddle was on a torrid pace before breaking his ankle five games into the season. In that span, Waddle racked up an enormous 591 yards receiving and four touchdowns on 28 catches from quarterback Mac Jones. The production has always been there for Waddle, but how does his box score translate to one the field? We take a look there next.

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