Patriots: Would Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle fit in New England?

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Should the Patriots use pick No. 15 on Jaylen Waddle if he falls to them?

The Patriots will absolutely be in the mix for a quarterback this offseason, as Cam Newton’s mixed campaign under center could lead to Bill Belichick trying to unearth his next superstar with the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

While the quarterback quandary needs to be solved, the plethora of talented wide receivers in this draft class should get New England thinking about adding a game-breaker like Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle.

What the Pats need the most in their wide receiving corps is the ability to create separation, for which they were the worst in all of the NFL in 2020. Yeah, we think Waddle can provide that.

Jaylen Waddle would give the passing game a new level of speed and complexity

Josh McDaniels deserves every bit of the roasting that he got for his inability to put forth any semblance of a passing attack, but he didn’t exactly have the Greatest Show on Turf to work with at wide receiver. Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd can only do so much. Waddle could step right in and give them an above-average vertical element that they haven’t truly had in years.

While there are some concerns about Waddle’s route-running ability (given his limited route tree) as well as his health (he’s coming off ankle surgery and appeared to re-injure it in the National Championship game, he’s as electric a player as there is in this draft. In an age where speed is being valued more than ever, Waddle has shown that he can both take the top off of a defense and use his ability to stop and start to great effect, making him lethal as a runner.

Unlike most speed demons, Waddle’s athletic ability and huge catch radius make him a weapon on contested balls, which can greatly help him develop into a true No. 1 receiver. With nearly every draft analysis site giving him a first-round grade, Waddle makes a lot of sense for New England.

Belichick always looks to the SEC for talent when the draft rolls around, and he might be able to pick up one of his most talented offensive recruits in some time by adding Waddle to the equation to help bring this offense back to life.