Alabama Football: 5 bold predictions for 2021 NFL Draft

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bold Alabama football predictions for 2021 NFL Draft

3. Waddle will be drafted before Smith

This may surprise some Alabama football fans. After all, DeVonta Smith just won the Heisman Trophy. How can he slip past a teammate at the same position? It is all about fit and projection.

When both Smith and Waddle were healthy, Waddle was the better-performing receiver. He looked like a Heisman candidate before he hurt his ankle. This is because of his speed and agility.

The NFL could fall in love with Waddle’s speed. It’s why Henry Ruggs was the first receiver drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. Speed kills, and it’s where the NFL is heading.

So, what is Waddle’s ceiling? Depending on who goes in the top five, the Dolphins could consider drafting him with the sixth pick. The Lions and Panthers also need a receiver in the top 10, and the Giants and Eagles need a receiver not far behind them.

Many will use Smith’s size as a reason to not draft him, but that shouldn’t impact his draft stock. Size has never hurt him in the past, and the NFL should be no different.

Both Smith and Waddle should have successful NFL careers. I simply think that someone will fall in love with Waddle earlier than they will Smith.