The Giants offense was supposed to be a scoring juggernaut this year. Still, it’s been anything but thanks mainly to an inconsistent but developing offensive line, a quarterback in his second year, and the lack of a legitimate deep threat.
Well, veteran draft scout Matt Miller, in his final column for Bleacher Report, has some help on the way for the Giants, who, if the season ended today, would draft tenth. That help is Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle, whom Miller notes, “is a home run hitter with elite speed and excellent field vision.”
Waddle is a 5’10” 182-pound junior who is also a return specialist in addition to being a speed burner receiver. Waddle suffered a fractured ankle against Tennessee on October 24 that could keep him sidelined the rest of the year, depending on how his post-surgery rehab goes.
Before that injury, Waddle was averaging 19.1 yards per catch for his career to rank second on the school’s list (based on a minimum of 100 catches). He has also recorded 733 career punt return yards to rank sixth in Alabama history, having recorded a 19.3 yards per punt return average across three seasons.
Waddle, who had stepped up after Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III departed for the NFL, averaged 139.2 yards per contest to lead the Crimson Tide, and hit 100 yards receiving in all four games to start the season. He also converted a first down or scored on 20 of his 25 catches this season.
What is there to like about Waddle? The Pro Football Network says the junior “possesses the speed to kill and elite ball-tracking ability,” while the Draft Network praises Waddle for his ability to bob and weave through traffic while maintaining top speed.
And NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah calls Waddle “one of the best run-after-catch prospects” he’s seen, noting how Waddle has “rare explosiveness, change-of-direction quickness and instincts.”
Obviously, there is the Alabama connection with Nick Saban that Giants head coach Joe Judge seems to hold so dear.
But would the Giants roll with a top-10 pick that missed part of his final season with an injury serious enough to warrant surgery?
Waddle’s injury isn’t believed to be one that will put that much of a dent in his draft stock. Still, it's early in the process, and any team interested in Waddle will need to stay on top of his medical reports.