Did Dolphins’ Brutal Start Cost Jaylen Waddle’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Chances?

Jalen Waddle has been on fire during the Dolphins win streak. But, is it too little too late to make a run at the NFL OROY?
Jalen Waddle has been on fire during the Dolphins win streak. But, is it too little too late to make a run at the NFL OROY? / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was tagged as the best pass-catcher in the NFL Draft by many prognosticators. Turns out, they may have been right.

While he hasn’t received the same attention as Ja’Marr Chase or Mac Jones, Waddle is making a real case for why he should be in consideration for Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Waddle is sixth in the NFL with 96 receptions, along with 941 yards and five touchdowns. He is averaging almost 10 yards per catch and is only getting better.

Waddle’s consistency and skill were on full display last night when the Dolphins beat up on the New Orleans Saints. The rookie wideout had a game-high 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown.; breaking the Dolphins’ franchise receiving mark for a rookie that was held by Chris Chambers (883 yards). Waddle is also in striking distance of Anquan Boldin’s’ all-time NFL record for receptions by a rookie with 101. 

With his performance against the Saints, Waddle now leads all rookies with catches and is second in the entire AFC. He is third in receiving yards and touchdown catches among rookies. With a streak of four games with at least eight catches, he is far from done and appears locked into breaking Boldin’s record. 

If Waddle is putting up this kind of production, why is he so far behind both Mac Jones (-425) and Ja'Marr Chase (+300) in the betting market at 75/1 at WynnBET?

I can understand the argument more-so for Jones as a quarterback. As with the MVP award, quarterback stats carry far more weight than the accomplishments of wide receivers or running backs. But, why is Chase such a shorter favorite than Waddle?  Looking over the week-to-week stats, Waddle has been far more consistent than Chase this year. Chase may have had a 125 yard game against the Ravens, but he is coming off a one catch, 3-yard game against the Broncos.

Sure, Chase has 10 touchdowns and a couple hundred more yards receiving, but their gap in odds is still too large. The only thing I can think of is that the Dolphins’ terrible start to the season has soured voters against anyone on the team. That way of thinking makes no sense. It is far more difficult to come back after starting the season 1-7 to now be at 8-7 heading into Week 17. It shows a lot of grit, determination, and heart to pull a team out of a hole that big, and now, the Dolphins and Waddle are on a seven-game win streak.

As for Chase and the Bengals? They're 2-2 in their last four games and host the No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

I don’t bring this up to suggest that Waddle should be ahead of Jones or even Chase in the betting odds for OROY. But 75/1 odds compared to the two at the top is a definite sign of disrespect from the oddsmakers.