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Instant analysis: Jalin Hyatt adds explosive element to the Giants’ offense

Giants add speed with trade up for wide receiver

Florida v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

The New York Giants ranked last in the NFL in total explosive plays last season, and it wasn’t particularly close. Who better to rectify that than a receiver who caught six balls on eight targets for 207 yards and five touchdowns against a Nick Saban-coached defense in 2022?

Jalin Hyatt recorded 1,267 yards on 67 catches - an 18.9 yards per catch rate - with 15 touchdowns for Tennessee last season. He played in Josh Huepel’s air-raid spread attack, where he aligned in the slot 87.3% of the time.

However, the slot in Huepel’s offense was still, at times, aligned outside the numbers. There will be a transition for Hyatt coming from Huepel’s offense, but it’s hard to not get excited about the value of this type of athlete at pick No. 73:

Here’s my scouting report on Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt:

A former four-star recruit from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C., where he was the third-ranked recruit from South Carolina and the 33rd overall WR prospect in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Fun fact: current Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass also attended Dutch Fork high school. Initially committed to Virginia Tech before choosing Tennessee under previous head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

The 2022 Biletnikoff Award Winner and consensus, unanimous, First-Team All-American burst onto the scene as the most explosive playmaker in college football. Hyatt caught five touchdown passes against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tennessee’s upset victory over Nick Saban’s team.

Hyatt finished 2022 with 67 catches on 89 targets for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns; he averaged 18.9 yards per catch. Hyatt played 88.7% of his snaps in the slot. He finished his time in Tennessee with 151 targets, 108 catches, 1,769 yards, and 19 total touchdowns.


  • Elite - difference-making - speed & explosiveness
  • Elite acceleration - runs like a gazelle
  • Hyatt is tailor-made for creating explosive plays
  • Steps on CBs toes in the blink of an eye off vertical release
  • Speed forced off-leverage - solid overall ability to stop to open up comeback/curl routes
  • Did well to work into blind spot to sell vertical stem
  • Has displayed some deceptiveness up his vertical stem
  • Elite separation ability via athleticism in man coverage
  • Very smooth on horizontal routes - acceleration is maintained
  • Does have multiple gears
  • Caused several DPI/Defensive Holding penalties - strikes fear into defensive backs
  • Has good hands - plucks the ball out of the air effortlessly
  • Excellent competitor - will block
  • Josh Heupel was not afraid to use him condensed to block in short-yardage
  • Defenses will have to play his offense differently with him on the field
  • Rose to the occasion against top competition
  • Scored five touchdowns against a Nick Saban-coached defense in upset victory


  • A lean player who is under 190-pounds
  • Very limited route tree - somewhat of a one-trick pony
  • For someone with his speed, I thought he’d be a bit more elusive
  • Wasn’t the smoothest in transition in & out of breaks
  • 88% of snaps were from the slot throughout his college career
  • Didn’t make many contested catches
  • Has good hands but didn’t have many adjustments or contested catch situations
  • Physical corners who land press were able to alter release
  • Rough drops against Mizzou and South Carolina
  • Had a ton of schemed releases and designed touches
  • Will need to expand release package
  • One year wonder

Jalin Hyatt is an elite athlete who is an excellent vertical threat and an explosive play-making talent. The 2022 Biletnikoff Award Winner combines elite separation skills with excellent competitive toughness as a blocker; he also tracks the football well with good overall hands. He’s not the most complete wide receiver - there are areas of improvement needed, and he’s not the biggest guy in the world; despite those facts, his elite speed is difference-making.

The NFL is predicated on creating explosive plays, and Hyatt will be able to do that in the NFL. His field stretching ability will force defenses to play his team in a specific manner, which could open up several opportunities for his offense. I don’t think he’s a pure one-trick pony, but he’s not complete as a receiver. Still, the “one-trick” he possesses is so impactful that it can change the team that decides to select him.

Final thoughts

The Giants wanted, and needed, an explosive wide receiver like Jalin Hyatt. Many projected Hyatt to go late in Round 1 or early in Round 2; trading a fourth-round pick to jump from pick No. 89 to pick No. 73 isn’t a steep price to pay for a receiver who can add a different element to this offense.

Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and Mike Groh are the perfect coaches to maximize this athlete. He may not be the most polished right now, but he will draw defensive attention and give Daniel Jones a young deep-threat to stretch defenses, which will open up the intermediate parts of the field off play-action, and on traditional passing downs. So far, Joe Schoen and the Giants are doing an excellent job.