2021 NFL Draft: Everything to know about Giants potential pick Jaylen Waddle

Scott Thompson
·4 min read
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle vs Auburn
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle vs Auburn

The 2021 NFL Draft is drawing closer by the day. With the Giants set to pick at No. 11 in the first round, we'll be giving an in-depth look at potential prospects who could soon call New York home.

Here's a loot at Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle...

By The Numbers

- Height: 5-foot-9 1/2
- Weight: 180
- 40-yard dash: 4.37
(ran in HS, didn't run at Pro Day)
- Stats: 106 receptions, 1,999 yards (18.9 YPC), 17 TD, 24 games
- Accolades & Awards: 2020 SEC receiving yards per reception leader, 2019 NCAA punt return yards leader, 2019 Second Team Associated Press All-American, SEC Special Teams Player of the Year

Prospect Overview

NFL.com (Chad Reuter): "Thrilling, game-breaking talent who will come into the league as one of the fastest receivers to ever play the game. His whereabouts pre-snap and post-snap must be accounted for at all times. Despite his size, he's a legitimate outside option, thanks to his ability to not only take the top off the defense, but also go up and win 50-50 throws. Waddle's adept at working all three levels, so it will be tough for defenses to predict how offenses will utilize him, as he has the potential to post a higher catch volume in the right offense. Waddle can instantly upgrade a team's scoring potential, whether it's with the deep ball, the catch-and-run or as a return man."

The Draft Network (Jordan Reid): "Jaylen Waddle is a dynamic wideout that’s spent time on the outside, in the slot, and periodically as a chess piece in the backfield. Possessing a unique skill set, he’s a smaller wideout that contains a well diverse skill set. With notches of speed that most defenders are incapable of reaching, he plays the game with a jetpack. The former Crimson Tide wideout makes his surroundings look as if they’re moving in slow motion compared to his high level controlled speed. Containing consistent hands, he also has a wide catch radius that enables him to attack the ball at its apex when entering his target range. A player that can be used as an ultimate decoy with various types of motions, he forces defenses to always account for where he is on the field no matter where he aligns. His experience and vision as a return specialist carry over to his ability after the catch as he’s a “slice and dice” ball carrier that’s able to knife through defenses with ease no matter if he’s operating in tight spaces or with lots of green grass in front of him. Capable of running a variety of routes, he’s an all-levels threat that can have an equal impact as an explosive play generator no matter which domain he catches the ball in."

Why He Fits

The Giants added arguably the top receiver on the free agent market, Kenny Golladay, in free agency. But like Reuter wrote, Waddle will come into the NFL as one of the fastest players in the game.

Waddle's speed is what makes him such a versatile asset because all eyes on defense must be looking for him. But you know that Saquon Barkley and Golladay and Evan Engram will need to be respected on the field as well. This gives Daniel Jones tons of options to work with, and they all have big play potential.

Now, John Ross was added to the group, and if he can stay healthy, that world class speed is there to use. But there's no guarantee that he can get the injury bug off him.

Waddle has his own injury history with his ankle fractured from last season, but he showed in the National Championship game that he healed fast and is still healing now as he prepares for his rookie year.

Also, for a head coach like Joe Judge that admires special teams work, Waddle's knack for getting positive yards in the return game could sway the Giants to take him.

NFL Comp

- NFL.com: Tyreek Hill
- Walter Football: Tyreek Hill

Random Fact

We don't know if this is still the case, but Waddle's celebrity crush was Miley Cyrus back in 2017.

Social Moment

Waddle's 98-yard kick return against Auburn back in 2019 was the talk for weeks after you caught his insane speed and elusive abilities in the second quarter of the game...