The Alabama Crimson Tide lost to the Auburn Tigers, but sophomore WR Jaylen Waddle put on a display of speed unlike any other.
The Auburn Tigers won the Iron Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide, handing an absolutely furious Nick Saban his team’s second loss of the season. The Tide may have lost this game, but it wasn’t for a lack of impact plays from true sophomore receiver/returner Jaylen Waddle.
Waddle was absolutely outstanding against Auburn with four receptions for 98 yards and three touchdowns along with three kickoff returns for 132 yards and another touchdown.
Waddle’s four touchdowns were not enough for the Crimson Tide in this one, but he’s established himself as an early favorite to join Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the top 10 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft and this is a game we will all remember for a long time.
Some of the plays Waddle was making made it look like he was playing on ‘rookie’ mode in a video game. No one could keep up with his game speed when he touched the ball.
This kind of open-field speed, in particular on the receiving touchdown just before the end of the first half, is unreal.
The only other player I can think of who can play at this speed is Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs. Some guys can impress by running in the 4.3’s at the Scouting Combine, but not many players can utilize that speed in every part of their game.
Waddle is capable, and he doubled his touchdown total on the season in this game alone largely because he was just so athletically dominant over everyone else.
He doesn’t just win in the open field, either. Look at him winning a contested catch situation:
Auburn was able to confuse Alabama into a 12-men on the field penalty at the end of the game with just around two minutes on the clock. It was a fortunate penalty in Auburn’s favor because they certainly did not want to see Jaylen Waddle get another chance to burn their defense another time.
This was a classic ‘whoever gets the ball last wins’ type of game and Auburn is fortunate that Alabama didn’t get another shot with how in the zone Waddle was.
Waddle’s performance in this game is one of those you just can’t forget. It was a game he will put at the top of his highlight reel and one NFL scouts will certainly refer to often when trying to convince themselves to use a top 10 draft pick on this electrifying talent.
Alabama is going to get one more year of Waddle, who is currently the fourth receiver on their depth chart. This is an absolutely loaded offense.
The NFL will eagerly anticipate Waddle’s arrival in 2021.