Jaylen Waddle
No. 17 – Miami Dolphins
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1998-11-25) November 25, 1998 (age 25)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school:Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas)
College:Alabama (2018–2020)
NFL Draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2023
Receptions:251
Receiving yards:3,385
Receiving touchdowns:18
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jaylen Waddle (born November 25, 1998)[1] is an American football wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama and was drafted sixth overall by the Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Early years

Waddle catching a pass during the Army All-American Bowl.

Waddle attended Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas. As a senior, he played in the U.S. Army All-American Game.[2] He committed to the University of Alabama to play college football.[3][4][5] He made the selection on National Signing Day of 2018 and chose the Crimson Tide over Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, TCU, and Oregon.[4]

College career

As a true freshman at Alabama in 2018, Waddle was named the SEC Freshman of the Year after recording 45 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns.[6][7] As a punt returner, he also returned 16 punts for 233 yards and a touchdown.[7]

Waddle returned to the Crimson Tide for his sophomore season in 2019.[8] He recorded 33 receptions for 560 yards and scored six receiving touchdowns. He also returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown against LSU and a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown against Auburn. He was named first-team All-SEC as a return specialist and was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year.[9]

On October 24, 2020, Waddle broke his right ankle when he was tackled while returning the opening kickoff in a game against Tennessee.[10] Waddle returned for the National Championship game against Ohio State. On January 14, 2021, Waddle announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

College statistics

Season Receiving
Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2018 45 848 18.8 94 7
2019 33 560 17.0 58 6
2020 28 591 21.1 90 4
Career 106 1,999 18.9 94 17

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
5 ft 9+12 in
(1.77 m)
180 lb
(82 kg)
30+38 in
(0.77 m)
9+18 in
(0.23 m)
All values from Pro Day[11][12]

2021

Waddle was drafted sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with his college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.[13][14] On May 14, 2021, Waddle signed with the Dolphins on a $27.1 million deal.[15]

In his first NFL game on September 12, 2021, Waddle faced off against former Alabama teammate quarterback Mac Jones and the New England Patriots. Waddle caught 4 of his 6 targets for 61 receiving yards, and also caught his first NFL receiving touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa in the 17–16 win against the New England Patriots. His first big breakthrough came in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers, finishing with 137 receiving yards as the Dolphins won 33–10.[16] Throughout the season, Waddle became known for his waddling celebrations after touchdowns, inspired by his last name.[17]

In his 16th game of the season, Waddle set the NFL rookie record for receptions in a season with 104, beating Anquan Boldin's old record of 101. His record was broken by Puka Nacua in 2023. Waddle finished his rookie season with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and 7 total touchdowns.[18]

2022

In a Week 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Waddle had a career high of 11 receptions, 171 yards, and 2 touchdowns including the game winner to help the Dolphins comeback from a 35-14 4th quarter deficit, eventually winning the game 42-38.[19]

In a Week 16 game against the Green Bay Packers, he had an 84-yard receiving touchdown, setting the record for longest play during an NFL Christmas game.[20][21]

Waddle finished the season with 75 receptions, 1,356 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns.[18] The latter two figures set career highs. He also finished the season with 18.1 yards per catch which led the league.[18]

2023

In a Week 2 game against the Patriots, Waddle went down and was ruled out of the game. He was later reported to be in concussion protocol. Before a Week 3 game against the Denver Broncos, Waddle was ruled out with a concussion, missing his first NFL game in his career.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2021 MIA 16 16 104 1,015 9.8 57 6 2 3 1.5 2 1 2 1
2022 MIA 17 17 75 1,356 18.1 84 8 3 26 8.7 9 0 1 1
2023 MIA 14 14 72 1,014 14.1 60 4 3 12 4.0 12 0 0 0
Career 47 47 251 3,385 13.5 84 18 8 41 5.1 12 1 3 2

Postseason

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2022 MIA 1 1 3 44 14.7 25 0 1 8 8.0 8 0 0 0
2023 MIA 1 1 2 31 15.5 17 0 1 9 9.0 9 0 0 0
Career 2 2 5 75 15.0 25 0 2 17 8.5 9 0 0 0

References

  1. ^ "Jaylen Waddle Stats, News, Bio". ESPN. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  2. ^ Smith, Cam (November 7, 2017). "Four-star WR Jaylen Waddle receives U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey, talks importance of Texas". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Zenitz, Matt (February 21, 2018). "4-star freshman 'a little different' than Alabama's other receivers". AL.com. Advance Publications. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Coleman, Adam (February 7, 2018). "Episcopal's Jaylen Waddle signs with Alabama". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Sabin, Rainer (June 7, 2018). "Can Alabama's new slot WR still dazzle in the SEC like he did in the SPC?". AL.com. Advance Publications. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Byington, Alex (September 29, 2018). "Waddle turning into Alabama's most explosive weapon". Montgomery Advertiser. Gannett. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Lamb, Clint (June 12, 2019). "ESPN predicts breakout campaign from Jaylen Waddle". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Byington, Alex (August 23, 2019). "Speedy Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle wants to be even faster in sophomore season". Montgomery Advertiser. Gannett. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "2019 All-SEC Football Team announced". SECSports.com. December 11, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "Alabama Football Defeats Tennessee 48-17, Extends Streak to 14 Straight". si.com. October 24, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  11. ^ "Jaylen Waddle Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, WR, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Jaylen Waddle Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  14. ^ "Dolphins select Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami DE Jaelan Phillips in first round". NFL.com. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  15. ^ "Dolphins Sign Jaylen Waddle". Pro Football Rumors. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  16. ^ "Jaylen Waddle 2021 Game Log". Football Reference. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  17. ^ "Jaylen Waddle pulled off an actual waddle for his touchdown celebration and NFL fans loved it". For The Win. December 28, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c "Jaylen Waddle Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  19. ^ "Dolphins 42-38 Ravens (Sep 18, 2022) Final Score". ESPN. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  20. ^ Louis-Jacques, Marcel (December 25, 2022). "Dolphins' Jaylen Waddle goes 84 yards for big Christmas Day TD". ESPN. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  21. ^ Damond, Chris (December 26, 2022). "Inside the Numbers: Hill breaks team receptions record in Week 16". dolphins.com. Miami Dolphins. Retrieved January 24, 2023.