Since the start of last offseason, I’ve thought the Seattle Seahawks needed to add another premium pass catcher, which I’ve covered extensively. We’ve evaluated two of the best wide receivers in this year’s class in USC’s Jordan Addison and TCU’s Quentin Johnston. In this article we will review Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt.
Games watched - 2022 Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida
Previous wide receiver reports - Jordan Addison, Quentin Johnston
Relative Athletic Score (RAS)
- Biggest strength - big play ability - Hyatt has very good (7) play speed that with the ball in his hands allows him to run away from defenders for massive chunks of yardage. He is a significant threat on vertical routes, mainly go’s and wheels as he is able to find another gear that allows him to blow right by defenders. With the ball in his hands Hyatt is a significant threat because of how quick he is as a runner. He is extremely difficult to catch from behind because of his breakaway speed, but he also has the quickness to run away from defenders who are even or have a step on him.
Jalin Hyatt is pretty, pretty quick. pic.twitter.com/JSux4jW3Va— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) March 21, 2023
- When tracking the ball, Hyatt does not lose a step as he is able to trace it from over his shoulder and into his hands whilst maintaining his play speed. If he needs to adjust and move to a different spot, he has the tracking ability that allows him to do so.
- He has very good (7) body control which enables him to contort his body near the sideline to make fantastic catches.
- Hyatt’s good hands (6) allow him to go up for a catch if needed or pluck the ball from out in front of him.
- He has good awareness of where the sideline is on shorter routes. Hyatt routinely is able to get a foot down in bounds before going out whilst giving himself enough time to make the grab.
- He is a very willing blocker and does a great job of staying attached to the defender throughout the course of the block. Additionally, he blocks with a bit of an edge.
- Biggest weakness - limited route running - Hyatt ran an extremely limited route tree at Tennessee as he mainly ran deep overs, go’s, wheels, and hitches. He ran the off slant or dig but those were few and far between.
- On the majority of his routes Hyatt was a sufficient (5) at best route runner with some looking mediocre (4). He displayed no ability to create natural separation within 15 yards. He did not run routes with any advanced tendencies nor were they very crisp. He did not snap routes off at the stem and often broke them down too much, before breaking one way.
- When running hitches, Hyatt did not step on the corner (speeding up before snapping it back) to try and get them to believe it was a vertical route. He maintained one speed and body shape throughout the route before he snapped it back to present a target.
- There were a few instances in which he allowed the ball to travel into his body rather than trying to get it with his hands.
- He did not show much of an understanding of zone coverage and sitting it down in the soft spots.
- Hyatt ran the majority of his routes from the slot but did not have the route running savvy or ability to create separation within 15 that an NFL slot receiver should have.
- Hyatt did not snap in and out of his breaks very quickly. He was not slow to get his hips around, but he was not advanced either, grading out as somewhere around sufficient (5).
- He was used in a decent amount of motion, so he rarely had to face a press rep from a defender. This leaves a lot of unknown as to how he will handle this at the NFL level. When corners did try and get tight to him, he did not show off any hand usage or anything like that, that would indicate he will be able to handle it at the pro level.
Floor/ceiling - Hyatt’s combination of very good (7) play speed, good (6) hands, tracking, body control and playmaking ability give him the ceiling of a solid starter. However, his sufficient (5) and borderline mediocre (4) release, route running, and route savvy give him the floor of a 4th receiver.
Grade - 6.4 - Low end starter on first day of second season - Middle of the second round
Grade explanation - As highlighted above, Hyatt is a very, very limited route runner which is concerning. Presently I’m unsure as to whether or not he can run anything outside of simple shorter routes and vertical routes. He is reliant on his athleticism to separation which adds a level of concern for his NFL success. Now, he is a fantastic athlete with very good play speed which does give him home run potential every time he touches the field. I still think he can be a low-end starting NFL receiver, but unless he suddenly becomes a good route runner, I don’t see him getting close to his ceiling.
Schematic fit - Hyatt projects best as “Z” receiver in a vertical offense. I do not think he can play the slot regularly at the NFL level because of his inability to create natural separation 15 and in. He should be tasked with largely running vertical routes to spread out the defense vertically.