MIAMI — Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle set an NFL rookie record for receptions in a single season on Sunday against the New England Patriots, reeling in his 102nd catch on the fourth play of the game.
Anquan Boldin previously held the record, set in 2003, when he caught 101 passes for 1,377 yards and 8 touchdowns in 16 games with the Arizona Cardinals.
Miami drafted Waddle sixth overall in 2021, pairing him with former University of Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa. He was voted the Dan Marino Team MVP by local media this week, and his teammates said they noticed his talent as soon as he stepped on the field for his first practice.
“You can see the MVP-worthy talent immediately,” tight end Durham Smythe said. “I think as the season progressed, he became more confident. He’s a guy who is never comfortable with a five-catch, 100-yard game. He wants more always. I think that has kind of shown throughout the year. He’s still asking, ‘How can I improve?’ on a week-to-week basis, and that’s kind of what he’s done.
“Obviously the stats show that and him receiving that award shows how important he’s been to this team.”
Waddle entered Sunday’s game tied for seventh in the NFL in receptions with 99 and 24th in receiving yards with 988. He capped Miami’s opening drive with four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown — his sixth TD catch of the season.
Sunday was his 16th game this season.