2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Jaylen Waddle

Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


Jaylen Waddle is a dynamic wideout that’s spent time on the outside, in the slot, and periodically as a chess piece in the backfield. Possessing a unique skill set, he’s a smaller wideout that contains a well diverse skill set. With notches of speed that most defenders are incapable of reaching, he plays the game with a jetpack. The former Crimson Tide wideout makes his surroundings look as if they’re moving in slow motion compared to his high level controlled speed. Containing consistent hands, he also has a wide catch radius that enables him to attack the ball at its apex when entering his target range. A player that can be used as an ultimate decoy with various types of motions, he forces defenses to always account for where he is on the field no matter where he aligns. His experience and vision as a return specialist carry over to his ability after the catch as he’s a “slice and dice” ball carrier that’s able to knife through defenses with ease no matter if he’s operating in tight spaces or with lots of green grass in front of him. Capable of running a variety of routes, he’s an all-levels threat that can have an equal impact as an explosive play generator no matter which domain he catches the ball in. An easy separation generator, he’s wise with his approach to running routes and plays the game in a controlled manner despite it looking like he's in fast forward compared to everyone else on the field alongside him. Still needing polish on his routes in the intermediate areas as he can take extra steps at the top, the good far exceeds the bad in that department. Waddle only played in four games during the 2020 season as he suffered a fractured right ankle that resulted in surgery (Oct. 2020) to repair.

Ideal Role: Waddle is a wideout that can be placed at multiple alignments. Whether it’s the slot, on the outside, or even in the backfield, there are multiple ways to use him in order to consistently generate explosive plays.

Scheme Fit: Can be best utilized as a slot or field “Z” receiver.

Written by Jordan Reid

Subscribe to
TDN Premium to continue reading this exclusive article

Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Jordan Reid is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Gaining experience from various lenses of the game, he has previously served as a college quarterback, position coach, and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He now serves as a Color Commentator for FloSports, covering both high school and college football games around the country while also being the host of The Reid Option Podcast.

Filed In: