Whenever it's time for the NFL draft, fans constantly hear about how certain teams had "Player X" rated highly on their board or how they like one prospect over another. However, very rarely do fans get a peek behind the curtain as they did with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.
The Jaguars uploaded a miniseries called "The Hunt," which looks at the team's journey surrounding the 2021 NFL Draft. In the third episode, fans can catch a glimpse that the organization graded No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence at 8.0. Assuming that's high on the team's scale, fans were shocked to see that the Jaguars had another 8.0-graded prospect: eventual Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
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Ever since it was confirmed that the Jaguars held the No. 1 pick at the 2021 NFL Draft, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that they'd use it on Lawrence. Still, it's fascinating that they gave him and Waddle the same grade.
Waddle ended up being selected at No. 6 by the Dolphins to help give QB Tua Tagovailoa another weapon at his disposal. After all, the wideout was great for the Crimson Tide throughout his three seasons with the team. During his tenure, Waddle caught 106 passes for 1,999 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. He was also a two-time All-SEC player, showing that his talents were recognized throughout college football.
When it comes to the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year race, Lawrence is the favorite to win it at +270 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. While Waddle's odds aren't nearly as good (+1700), he's tied with Cincinnati Bengals 5th overall pick Ja'Marr Chase for the best among wideouts.
At the end of the day, the Jaguars certainly made the right call by taking Lawrence at No. 1. Still, it's intriguing to imagine how the NFL world would've reacted had they gone with Waddle instead.
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