Jaylen Waddle’s rookie reception record headlines Miami Dolphins 2021 draft class
Saying Jaylen Waddle was the Miami Dolphins best rookie on the season is an understatement. Not only was Waddle the team’s best rookie, but he was arguably the team’s best offensive player.
On the season, Waddle was the teams leader in targets, receptions, yards, and total touchdowns. His 104 receptions was not only the most by a rookie this season, but the most by a rookie in NFL history. His 1,015 receiving yards was the second most by a rookie this seasons.
Waddle was an instant playmaker for the Dolphins, mostly with Will Fuller not panning out and DeVante Parker missing a handful of games on the seasons. Regardless of those injuries, it was clear the offensive staff, and Tagovailoa, wanted the ball to be in Waddle’s hands.
Waddle’s numbers likely would be higher if he had not missed the week 15 matchup against the New York Jets. He did return and torched the New Orleans Saints in week 16 with 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Waddle was named to the All-PFF rookie first team finishing the seasons with a 81.4 grade, which was tied for the third-highest-grade among rookies. Waddle was also named a finalist for the Pepsi rookie of the year.
While the Dolphins conduct their head coaching search, there have been reports that the team is seeking a coach that will bring the most out of Tagovailoa. If the team hopes to continue to improve offensively, getting the ball in the hands of number 17 in 2022 will be extremely important.