Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Jalin Hyatt, WR from Tennessee. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league.
When projecting how a rookie wide receiver might perform in the NFL, there are so many ways to thoroughly evaluate them. Through this article, I will walk through the statistics, the film, the measurables, and finally the value.
Before we get into those, I always want to get a high-level feel for the player I am evaluating, so I turn to YouTube. In the film section I will get into some technical details, but just by watching some highlights, we can immediately get our own impression regardless of measurables, data, etc. I refer to this as the eye test.
Let me tell you, before I even dug deeper into Jalin Hyatt, the answer was an emphatic yes. I first watched some of his games versus unranked opponents and he performed very well and was open often. I shrugged this off. Then, I watched him versus Kentucky (top-25 team), and he was still making wide-open catches. Okay, he looks good. Finally, I got to the Alabama game, and my word, he was like a three-year NFL wide receiver abusing college defenders. Although this was a great first impression, we need to look under the hood and see if our eyes might be deceiving us.
Courtesy of Sports Reference.
In 2020, Hyatt was the third receiver behind two senior WRs in Josh Palmer and Velus Jones Jr, both of whom are now in the NFL. For Hyatt’s sophomore year, I would have expected him to become the main WR with the two seniors departing, however, Cedric Tillman had an incredible season with 64 receptions, 1,081 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. This type of market share isn’t something that one would want to see for a prospect’s ascension to the NFL.
However, in Hyatt’s junior season, he completely took over with Tillman playing only six games. I think it’s a fair knock against Hyatt here - that he excelled after an injury to the WR who outplayed him the year prior. Nonetheless, Hyatt did step up and had a massive season with 67 receptions, 1,267 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns.
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Not to be a downer but all of the highlights except for maybe one are burner plays…. show me some contested catches as well to check the boxes. NFL is a completely different animal as we know.
You said he has a poor vert, but he hit 40” at the combine.. a little confused.