After being taken sixth overall by the Miami Dolphins, rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle has broken Anquan Boldin’s 2003 rookie reception record.
After catching his second pass against the New England Patriots in week 18, Miami Dolphins rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle broke Anquan Boldin’s single-season rookie reception record set in 2003, which he set while he was with the Arizona Cardinals. This isn’t the first time that Waddle has surprised and amazed fans this season.
The Miami Dolphins shocked fans when the team decided to trade back from the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the 12th overall pick, to just trade back up to the sixth overall pick. Many fans were expecting Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell, LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase, or Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith. Instead, the Dolphins took Jaylen Waddle sixth overall, Smith’s teammate at Alabama.
Pairing Waddle with Tua Tagovailoa seemed ideal since the two played together at Alabama and the team was in need of weapons to support the second-year quarterback. It was clear that it was the right choice.
On the season Waddle led the team in multiple key categories. He led the team in targets with 140 targets, receptions with 104, receiving yards with 1,015, and receiving touchdowns with six.
Waddle was the Dolphins’ top offensive player on the season and even won the Dan Marino MVP award, an award given to the team’s most valuable players.
While many are adding asterisks to the records broken this season due to the addition of a 17th game and 18th week, Waddle was able to break the record in 16 games played. Waddle missed the team’s Week 15 game against the New York Jets due to injury. In 16 games, Waddle averaged 8.75 targets resulting in 6.5 catches per game for 63.44 yards per game.
Jaylen Waddle should be posed for even greater numbers next season with a whole NFL season under his belt. With the Dolphins expected to have enough money to make major moves this offseason, the team should be able to improve and give Tagovailoa a chance to take the next step and improve one of the league’s worst offensive line. Waddle will be a cornerstone going forward in Miami.