Watch Out for Waddle

The Miami Dolphins could use a dynamic playmaker at wide receiver, and there might not be a more explosive prospect in the draft than Jaylen Waddle
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It's been pretty much all about Ja'Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith when draft talk has turned to which wide receiver would make the most sense for the Miami Dolphins at the end of April.

But there's another player who absolutely should be mentioned in that conversation, and that Smith's University of Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle.

In fact, he just might be considered a better prospect than Smith at this point, based on some national outlets.

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For example, CBSSports.com, Dane Brugler of The Athletic and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com all rank Waddle as the second-best prospect at wide receiver in the 2021 NFL draft behind Chase, who has become the consensus top choice at the position.

ESPN still has Smith ranks second among wide receivers, and Mel Kiper Jr. has mocked him to the New York Jets with the second overall pick.

But while Smith clearly was the best wide receiver in college football in 2020 — he was the best player actually, as evidenced by his Heisman Trophy — it just might be that Waddle has a higher ceiling in the NFL.

Jaylen Waddle

And he, just like Chase and Smith, would make an immediate impact on the Dolphins offense.

Where Waddle stands out among the top wide receivers is his speed, drawing comparisons from both Jeremiah and NFL Films guru Greg Cosell to Kansas City Chiefs playmaker Tyreek Hill.

In a recent appearance on the Russ Tucker Podcast, Cosell was asked who he would put at wide receiver after Chase.

"Well, I think Jaylen Waddle is fascinating because Jaylen Waddle to  me is very similar to Tyreek Hill in terms of the athletic (ability), the explosive traits, how we can be deployed in the context of an NFL offense," Cosell said. "He is dynamic at all three levels — short, intermediate, vertical.

"I think he's an explosive playmaker. What consistently stood out to me (on film), he is so controlled in his movement. He's so movement-efficient, yet he plays at such a high velocity and speed, and that's rare. Usually guys that play at that velocity and speed don't have that kind of balance and body control. ... He's the kind of receiver that you could put in and move him around and he's a dynamic, explosive weapon. And we know in today's NFL, that's what teams are looking for."

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Taking Waddle at number 3 might not be the way to go in terms of maximizing value for the Dolphins, but that also could apply to any of the wide receivers. But if the Dolphins trade back a few spots in the first round, which is a clear possibility, then don't be so shocked if it's Waddle who the Dolphins select to come help the offense at wide receiver.

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