The Arizona Cardinals have put together an exciting group of players at the wide receiver position. Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and youngster Christian Kirk will join Hopkins in the starting lineup, while 2019 draftees Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson provide depth at the position.
While there is certainly plenty of talent in this group, a lot of these players are unproven and Fitzgerald is unlikely to be around much longer. Wide receiver could easily look like a major position of need for the Arizona Cardinals when the actual 2021 NFL Draft rolls around. With that in mind, the Cardinals strike early wide receiver in this mock draft, taking Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle with the 12th overall pick.
Waddle has spent the last two seasons as a part-time player at Alabama, but it is hard to hold that too much against him with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith all ahead of him on the roster. With Jeudy and Ruggs moving along to the NFL, Waddle should have a much larger role in the Alabama offense this season and should be in a great position to prove himself as an elite offensive playmaker.
Despite the lack of playing time, Waddle has been able to show off his impressive overall skill-set the last two seasons at Alabama. He has legitimately elite raw speed and is a tremendous weapon with the ball in his hands. Waddle is quick and elusive in the open field and gets up to full speed in an instant. He is a dynamic deep threat who also shows fantastic playmaking ability after the catch.
Waddle is a bit of an unrefined player, but he is an outstanding natural playmaker whose speed is going to be a massive weapon at the next level. The Cardinals are trying to build a high-octane, fast-paced offensive system and they need to find dynamic receivers for Murray to work with in order to reach their full potential. Waddle is exactly the kind of player they are looking for and he could come in and make an immediate impact for this team.