Why Giants’ rookie WR Jalin Hyatt is a ‘high-level receiver’

Giants, New York Giants, NYG, Isaiah Hodgins, Jalin Hyatt
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants’ recent draft pick, Jalin Hyatt, raised eyebrows when he was selected in the third round, given his first-round projections weeks prior.

Jalin Hyatt: A Speedster Out of Tennessee

Hailing from an air raid Tennessee offense renowned for spacing and penetrating the defensive backfield, Hyatt showcases impressive speed. His athletic prowess was on full display at the NFL Combine, where he posted the highest receiver grade, ranked third in athleticism and second in production.

Hyatt clocked a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, and his in-game speed is reported to be superior, making him a promising deep threat for Daniel Jones in the passing game.

During his last year at Tennessee, Hyatt generated 1,267 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, including a remarkable five-touchdown performance against Alabama. Despite his undeniable potential, there’s been speculation about his route-running skills. However, his former offensive coordinator, Alex Golesh, believes in his preparedness.

Alex Golesh stated, “He’s a high-level receiver. He can run any route. He can catch any ball. Obviously, he’s young, he’s got to develop just like any receiver out of any offense, and it’s the New York Giants’ job to coach him to do that.”

Hyatt: A Potential Asset to the Giants

The Giants’ search for a WR1 remains consistent, but they’re trying to get similar production from Darren Waller, for whom they traded a third-round pick this off-season.

Hyatt’s role is to expand the field, command defensive backs’ attention, and create opportunities for his teammates. His exceptional speed will be a weapon for the Giants to hone. While his route running requires further experience, it’s not viewed as a weakness.

Golesh explained, “I’ve never seen a scheme get somebody open on a defensive back. The scheme maybe allows a formational matchup that you like, but the guy has still got to do the job of getting open. He’s as complete of a receiver as a three-year guy can be.”

Hyatt benefited from ample space at the collegiate level, but the NFL’s tighter field and more prepared defenders pose fresh challenges. While he’s likely to face rookie struggles, his ability to enhance the team’s explosive play-making downfield will make him a valuable asset.

The Strategic Use of Hyatt and Slayton

With Hyatt and Darius Slayton on the boundary, opposing defenses will struggle to contain them, particularly when running crossing concepts that drag defenders out of position.

The team’s future success lies in the hands of the coaching staff and their ability to utilize newly acquired talents and broaden the offensive scheme. The Giants are set to become a more pass-oriented team, which may explain their reluctance to overspend on the running back position.

Though Hyatt may not start immediately for the Giants, expect him to play a significant role in certain packages, specifically those designed to exploit particular coverages for big play opportunities.

“It’s on that coaching staff, and offensively with the staff [the Giants] have, [they] do an incredible job of getting guys open in space and creating matchups. He’s going to do whatever that coaching staff asks him to do, and hopefully from a fan standpoint, getting vertical over top of people is one of those things.”