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Jaylen Waddle Drafted by Dolphins: Miami's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 30, 2021

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) carries the ball against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Jaylen Waddle's professional career will begin in Miami. 

The wideout, whose junior year was nearly lost to a right ankle injury before he returned to help Alabama win the national title over Ohio State, was drafted by the Dolphins with the No. 6 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. 

Waddle was sometimes hidden on a Crimson Tide depth chart that included Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, but by the time he went down with an ankle injury after four games, he had neared his 2019 yardage total, putting him on pace for a season that would have far surpassed his first two years in Alabama.

After making an appearance in the national title game, Waddle ended 2020 with 591 yards and four touchdowns. A year earlier, he posted 560 yards and six scores on 33 receptions. 

His best outings came as a freshman in 2018, when he appeared in 15 games to tack on 848 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 receptions, all career-highs. 

With pure speed and skill, Waddle would have been an asset to any time that drafted him. But here's how he'll fit in with the Dolphins: 

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QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett, Jake Rudock

RB: Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed, Patrick Laird, Jordan Scarlett

WR 1: Will Fuller V, Isaiah Ford, Malcolm Perry

WR 2: DeVante Parker, Lynn Bowden Jr., Jakeem Grant

WR 3: Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams

TE: Durham Smythe, Mike Gesicki, Adam Shaheen, Carter Cethan, Chris Myarick

LT: Austin Jackson, Jesse Davis

LG: Solomon Kindley, Michael Deiter

C: Matt Skura, Tyler Gauthier, Tom Cameron

RG: Robert Hunt, Adam Pankey

RT: D.J. Fluker, Jonathan Hubbard

    

The Dolphins got some major reinforcements for Tagovailoa this offseason when they acquired Fuller.

But there's something to be said for the connection that already exists between Waddle and his former quarterback, especially since it was Tagovailoa who commanded the offense when Waddle had his best season as a freshman.

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