New England Patriots: 3 Dolphins players to keep an eye on in Week 1

James White #28 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
James White #28 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots will need to watch out for these 3 players on Miami

Miami Dolphins player to watch No. 3: Jaylen Waddle

Jaylen Waddle had a very limited college career, but still managed to cement himself as the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft anyways. After seeing a lot of the media attention go to Ja’Marr Chase and his drops, or Devonta Smith and whether Heisman winner can translate his college skills to the NFL, Waddle has flown somewhat under the radar this summer. But make no mistake about it; Waddle is dangerous player who could inflict some damage on New England in Week 1.

Similar to his former Alabama Crimson Tide teammate Mac Jones on the other sideline, this will Waddle’s first game of his career. Considering his limited action in college (he only had 131 targets over three seasons) Waddle is a bit of a wild card in this one. That makes him dangerous.

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Albeit, Waddle was already dangerous to begin with. He’s lightning fast, has great athleticism, and can rip off a big play at any point in the game. At his best, he offers the potential of being a Tyreek Hill type player.

Waddle is a bit of an undersized receiver coming in at 5’10 and 182 pounds, meaning he will probably see a lot of Patriots slot corner Jonathan Jones on Sunday afternoon. The problem is Waddle can line up both in the slot and on the outside too, so it will be interesting to see whether the Pats elect to shadow him with Jones, or switch up their matchups throughout the game.

While his running mate DeVante Parker is a much more established player at this stage of the game, Waddle’s explosiveness makes him a much more dangerous threat to New England. The Patriots don’t really have anyone that can match Waddle’s speed step for step, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dolphins take a few shots down the field for Waddle. If they can hit those deep throws, it could spell trouble for the New England Patriots.