First, please allow me to acknowledge the fact that calling Jaylen Waddle a “number two” receiver does seem somewhat disrespectful, but the conversation has been had incessantly on social media during these dog days of summer, so I figure I’d pose the question to our Phinsider faithful knowing that the folks perusing the comments section of this site will be unbiased and call this discussion directly down the middle.
Is Jaylen Waddle the league’s best number two receiver?
Forget biases, let’s take a look at the stats.
In 2022, Jaylen Waddle’s second season in the National Football League, he recorded 75 receptions for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns. Waddle’s 18.1 yards per reception led the entire league, while his receiving yardage total was good for seventh. His eight touchdowns was actually tied for 11th in the league, with two tight ends (Travis Kelce and George Kittle) and one running back (Jerick McKinnon) having more, so he was actually tied for eighth among all wide receivers in the touchdown department. Justin Jefferson also had eight touchdowns for those keeping score at home.
Honestly, we can probably end this discussion right there.
The only reason Jaylen Waddle is even in the running for best number two receiver in the league is because he plays on the Miami Dolphins — the same team as an all-time freak-of-nature, Tyreek Hill. Without Hill on the squad, Jaylen Waddle would be mentioned among the best number one receivers in the NFL after only two years in the league.
So, before you let anyone continue to make arguments for any other player not nicknamed The Penguin as the NFL’s best number two receiver, just pop on the tape of Waddle torching opposing defenders week in and week out and dancing in the endzone at the conclusion of the play.
Oh, and one more point I’d like to make before I leave you in peace on this extended holiday weekend...
Jaylen Waddle put up those monster numbers while catching balls from Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson for four games during the regular season last year. If Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy in 2023, Waddle’s numbers will look even better.
That thought is certainly keeping opposing defensive coordinators up at night!