2021 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins reunite Tagovailoa with Jaylen Waddle

Jaylen Waddle WR, Miami Dolphins, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by David Dermer-Pool/Getty Images)
Jaylen Waddle WR, Miami Dolphins, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by David Dermer-Pool/Getty Images) /

After seeing tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase come off of the board with the fourth and fifth overall selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins reunite franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with likely his most explosive target during his collegiate career. After missing the 2020 campaign due to an ankle injury, Jaylen Waddle impressed NFL scouts with his commitment and toughness, attempting to play through injury during the national championship game.

With elite straight-line speed, Waddle has been a multi-dimensional impact player for the Crimson Tide. An elite return-man on special teams, Waddle has a natural knack for identifying running lanes and making the most of every opportunity with the ball in hand. This intuition in traffic applies directly to his playmaking from behind the line of scrimmage as well, creating separation in a phone booth and accelerating out of sticky situations on a consistent basis.

Unlike the waves of speedsters to come before him, Waddle is fully capable of functioning as a high-volume receiving option within the Miami Dolphins offense. Despite averaging over four catches per contest in his final six games with the Crimson Tide, Waddle still managed to produce 21.1 yards per catch with his new-age style of play.

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Placed alongside DeVante Parker and Will Fuller, the Miami Dolphins now have three viable options on the outside for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on the outside along with tight end Mike Gesicki.

With both Fuller and Parker presenting their own downfield challenges to defensive backs, Waddle will have the short-middle of the field open for him to take full advantage. Generating easy completions for Tagovailoa, Waddle will make his impact in his rookie campaign doing what made him a top draft selection: making plays with the ball in his hands and blockers leading the way.