Jalin Hyatt Scouting Report

In our Scouting Reports, we will give you a quick debrief to get you the information you need to know. We go a step further, providing an in-depth review showing off examples of what we do and don’t like. We’ve included a date from the initial scouting report. Updated notes may get added and dated over the course of the the year. With that, welcome to the Jalin Hyatt scouting report!

If you’d like to see more, below are all the completed scouting reports for this season:

QBRBWRTE
Will LevisTank BigsbyJordan AddisonTBD
Spencer Rattler* (2024)Sean TuckerQuentin Johnston
Anthony RichardsonZach CharbonnetJaxon Smith-Njigba
Michael Penix Jr.* (2024)Blake Corum* (2024)Jalin Hyatt
Josh Downs

The 2022 Biletnikoff Award, given to the nations most outstanding receiver, went to none other than Tennessee’s own Jalin Hyatt. He is the latest receiver to receive first round hype, possibly as a result of the Biletnikoff. Is he worthy of this consideration? Let’s take a look.

Date: 12.31.2022
Details
: Jalin Hyatt | WR | Tennessee #11
DOB: 09.25.2001 | 21 years old
H/W: 6’ 0″ | 176 lbs

NFL Combine results (updated 03.06.2023):
40-yd dash: 4.40s
10-yd split: 1.5s
Vertical jump: 40″
Broad jump: 11′ 3″

YearGamesTeamReceptionsRec YardsRec AvgRec TDsRush AttemptsRush YardsRush AvgRush TDs
20208TENNESSEE2027613.82133.00
20219TENNESSEE2122610.8211010.00
202212TENNESSEE67126718.915100.00

Projection

NFL Draft Projection (updated 03.06.2023):

2nd to 3rd Round Pick – Hyatt is a speedster who has previously timed in the low 4.3s, and that kind of speed cannot be taught even by the best coach. However, he’s run a limited route tree in a unique offense which does a great job stressing defenses. He will also need to be protected by scheme. It’s certainly possible a team will love his speed and stats and will reach for him in the 1st Round. Day 2 would be more appropriate. With the combine having come-and-gone, Hyatt had one of the more surprising showings. He was unable to crack into the 4.3s which, for a guy with only a few marketable skills shown on tape, could knock him out of 1st Round contention.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – 1QB:

2nd Round Pick – An NFL offense will not be willing to consistently protect Hyatt the way Tennessee did. He will not be drafted to be a teams “No. 1”, more likely he will be a supplemental piece. Naturally, the NFL will force him into more physical situations which have shown to be a major weak-point, and his production could be highly inconsistent as a result. He could be a nice Best Ball asset though.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – Superflex/2QB (updated 03.06.2023):

2nd to 3rd Round Pick – Where I expect Hyatt to be drafted, there will be at least four quarterbacks drafted above him. A nice NFL landing spot could set him up for the 2nd Round, though more often than not I think he’ll be available into the 3rd.

Scouting Brief

Hyatt produced big numbers through chunk plays under the explosive Tennessee offense. There’s plenty on his highlight reel to show off, so it’s important to separate what production came from the offensive scheme vs what was created by Hyatt’s talents.

He’s fun to watch, as is the entire Tennessee offense, but I had a number of concerns with Hyatt which knock him down a peg or two in my eyes.

Seemingly a two-level receiver, he was typically tasked either with a screen or a deep vertical route, and little in between. There was the occasional curl/stop route, with an in route sometimes mixed into the game plan…but that’s about it.

There were also multiple issues that I see of more as an annoyance than a knock on his abilities as a receiver.

I stopped counting how often he would take plays off when he wasn’t running a viable route. Additionally, he’s often the last receiver off the blocks when the ball is snapped. Sometimes this was by design, with switch and stack routes common in the offense. Though it also happened when he was the primary receiver on a vertical route.

Hyatt’s absolute worst trait: dealing with a jam.

I’ve talked about the benefits of running routes from the slot or from a stack in the Jordan Addison report (here) and the Jaxon Smith-Njigba report (here). In short, these positions are protected from a jam and tend to get lined up against a safety or linebacker, providing opportunities that outside receivers on the line of scrimmage aren’t afforded.

Hyatt was almost always off the line of scrimmage, in the slot, stacked behind another receiver, used in motion, or any combination those. In the rare situation he did face a jam, he got beat back so hard he couldn’t even get into his route.

This is a serious concern for the next level where a team will need to scheme to protect him, or he will otherwise lose opportunities to guys who don’t have the same limitations.

Keeping note of his limitations, Hyatt does bring something else to the table that few others can: legitimate 4.2 speed.

Not only does he have a laser-timed 4.31 from a regional combine for The Opening back in 2018. He also stated that the next 40 he ran was 4.29. He will light the track on fire like Back to the Future at the NFL Combine in Indy.

He’s given loads of space due to the Vols’ scheme and his speed. But he takes advantage of that space with an underrated ability to vary his speed, which he uses to exploit defenders leverage.

While it’s not talked about as much as his speed, his hands are very solid too. He regularly extends to secure the reception, and has shown to be able to hold on even in traffic.

Given all this, Hyatt is a bit of a wildcard. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him taken in the first round. After all, speed kills. Though personally, I think a 2nd or even 3rd round pick would be a more appropriate landing spot seeing as a team will have to accommodate his limitations.

Detailed Breakdown

One of the first things you may notice when watching Jalin Hyatt actually isn’t Hyatt, but the Tennessee offensive scheme. Running a spread style vertical offense isn’t unique in college football, but taking advantage of ultrawide splits while balancing the run and pass game, that is pretty unique to the Vols.

With that in mind, I think it’s important to understand how the Vols’ offense puts their receivers – including Hyatt – in advantageous positions. This will help to prevent conflating production thanks to talent and production via scheme.

As mentioned before, wide splits are a staple of the offense. The wide splits force defenders to match and flex out wide. This creates a lot of space in the middle of the field which the run and pass game can take advantage of.

Another staple of the offense is stacked formations. This is when one receiver lines up on the line of scrimmage while another lines up directly behind (or slightly offset). This stresses the defense while also protecting the receiver at the bottom of the stack.

In the first snap below, pre-snap, look how the wide split and stack formation pulls three defenders over the two receivers, with the same alignment on the other side. The defense essentially has to determine if they’re going to focus on the run and pile defenders in the box, leaving receivers manned-up outside, or play the pass and leave the box empty.

Post-snap, watch how the point receiver – top of the stack – takes all three defenders away, leaving Hyatt alone up the sideline. The first steps run right into the near defender – a benefit of the stack formation – while the route itself takes away the corner and safety.

In the second snap, the wide split of Hyatt in the slot creates so much space in the middle of the field, the only way this pitch-and-catch would be easier is if the defender fell down…which he does…

Make no mistake, Hyatt is a talented receiver…but when watching him, it’s worth identifying the production created through his talents and separating that from the production largely caused by the scheme.

Now that we know what to look for with the scheme, let’s take a look at what Hyatt brings to the table.

First and foremost, he’s incredibly fast. To this point, he has a laser-timed 4.31 at a Nike Opening Regional. That was back in 2018, it’s entirely possible he will have improved by the NFL Combine.

Building on that, Hyatt is able to vary the speed in his routes very well. He can lull defenders with a lower gear before kicking it up a notch and burning past them. Even his middle gears are enough to maintain separation, allowing him to safely secure the ball before bursting toward the endzone.

I pulled four different snaps which show Hyatt’s speed and how he uses it to his advantage.

Looking at the first snap, Christopher Smith (S #29) – a possible early-round NFL Draft Pick – is manned up against Hyatt in the slot. Hyatt attacks the outside shoulder so Smith begins to turn in preparation to run with him. Unfortunately, Hyatt’s speed is far too much for Smith.

Hyatt plants and drives off his third step, bursting past Smith before turning back for the football. Hyatt still gains ground on Smith even as he’s turned and looking for the throw. Smith’s only shot was to stay in his backpedal and respect the speed – leaving intermediate routes open – or get hands on and disrupt the route.

It’s a lose-lose situation when in solo coverage. Either respect the speed and leave the underneath open, or play tight and risk getting burned.

In the second snap, Hyatt is lined up just inside the numbers on the boundary side of the field. He’s effectively manned up by potential mid-to-late round pick DeMarcco Hellams (S #2). Hellams – a weak-point in this defense – was targeted appropriately and burned repeatedly this game.

This is a great play to showcase how well Hyatt uses different gears to win routes. Off the line of scrimmage he closes distance quickly with Hellams’ outside shoulder. While feigning a speed-out, Hyatt kicks it up a notch and accelerates toward the sideline – even looking back for the football to further sell it.

Hellams bites hard on the fake. That’s when Hyatt takes it up yet another notch, scorching past Hellams who has no shot at catching up. This one ends up a touchdown.

In the third snap, Hyatt is stacked wide boundary side. Once again, he hides his speed extremely well through the route, lulling the defender as he closes distance. He turns on the jets and, with blistering speed, blasts past Malachi Moore (DB #13) – another likely mid-to-late round pick.

That moment between the 30-yard-line until he turns back to the ball at the 42 is some of the fastest I’ve ever seen a player in pads. Hyatt throttles down just a bit in order to make the catch. But even then, the MOF safety – Hellams again – can’t reach.

Finally, in the fourth snap, Hyatt is lined up on the numbers in the slot against another possible late round pick (or UDFA) Jarrick Bernard-Converse (DB #24). It’s pretty simple, he closes distance for the first 10 yards, then turns on his inner-Olympian.

Even while tracking the ball, he keeps separating more from the DBs at a pretty easy clip. That’s special speed. When combined with variance in-route, it’s incredibly hard to defend without help over-the-top.

In addition to his speed, Hyatt has really nice hands. He rarely catches the ball against his pads. In fact, he consistently extends and secures the ball away from his body, showing good concentration and strong hands in the process.

His ball tracking is also good, making over-the-shoulder catches easily on many of his deep routes. He’s even shown that he can secure the ball in tight quarters. Though as you can imagine with his speed and his role in this scheme, tight quarters and contested catch scenarios were not super common.

Below are a few snaps showing his hands, concentration, and ball tracking. In the first snap, Hyatt is running a stop/curl route effectively against air considering the safety is playing deep. Still, he extends and makes the reception nicely.

Also note, Hyatt does a great job coming back to the football on these routes. You see it here, and in the second snap too.

Second snap, with the nickel blitzing he’s again against a deep safety, so running the route against air. This ball has much better placement so he secures it with strong hands right at the numbers. Once more, well done coming back to the ball.

Our third snap is a bit different. This route Hyatt gets over the top of the defense. This time he shows good ball tracking and body control as he turns to make this catch with his hands as opposed to against his body. I never noted the ball rattling or bobbling in his hands, which is a great sign.

Now, Hyatt doesn’t run a wide variety of routes, so trying to find examples of specific route running traits wasn’t easy. For example, I don’t remember seeing any speed cuts or square in routes.

On deep routes, I never saw him stack a defender. Once he got behind them his speed was enough to maintain and even build his vertical leverage, so it’s hard to knock him for this.

There were a few instances of curls/stops, two of which are included in the below video, so it’s worth discussing here. Put simply, Hyatt’s ability on these routes was just OK.

While his body lean was generally consistent (I didn’t note any egregious popping up before a break), he signaled occasionally through his stride length and route speed before the break. It’s very noticeable in the second snap.

Overall he looked good-not-great at what he was asked to do. The hardest part may be gauging how well he will run a full route tree against NFL caliber defenders.

Now on to the biggest issue I saw…if you’re his offensive coordinator, you better protect this man. When a defender gets hands on him, they might as well be a spidey-web. He’s not getting free.

I noted two routes where the defender was either in press or catch coverage, and got hands on him early in his route. Both times Hyatt was unable to free himself, even seemingly getting rode well off his route. In other words, if he’s even sniffed at the line of scrimmage, look to the next route.

Here’s a snap shown from two different angles against Georgia. Hyatt tries a jab step to the outside, which the defender – Javon Bullard (DB #22) – mirrors well and immediately recovers from. Bullard is a solid player, so if this is Hyatt’s A-game, it’s not going to win.

Of the four games I watched, he was only on the line of scrimmage twice…this explains why. Hyatt struggles mightily from the moment of engagement. Tennessee game-planned around this by keeping him in the slot, off the line of scrimmage, and at the bottom of stack formations specifically to avoid this issue. The NFL may not be so kind.

This last clip, I want to be very clear, is not an indication of Hyatt’s level of football talent. Take it with a massive grain of salt.

When I watch players, I pick something like five or six games and watch them at full speed. I’m looking for traits, skills, athletic and physical profiles, etc., but I also look for commonalities from snap-to-snap. What does that player do again-and-again, when the situation presents itself?

For Hyatt, there were two commonalities which really started to eat at me the more I saw them. First – he’s slow off the snap.

Sometimes there’s a reason to delay your release, like buying time on a switch release when the other receiver crosses in front. But that’s not why Hyatt was slow off the snap. He’s slow off the snap as the switch lead, as the primary receiver, when the defense shows pressure…on like half of his snaps.

Another thing that was noticeably common, is how often Hyatt coasts when he’s not part of the play. Tennessee’s offense generally had a half-field read with one or two eligible routes. Hooker (QB #5) would take off running when everything is covered.

In these plays, if Hyatt isn’t a viable receiver, he tends to coast. He rounds his routes, doesn’t attack the defense, doesn’t use the opportunity to set up a defender. The video clip below shows two snaps, one of each scenario.

Again, none of this is an indication of Hyatt’s talent. They’re commonalities which stood out in a negative way. Take from it what you will.

Hyatt’s potential to run in the 4.2s means he’s automatically in 1st Round consideration. Speed kills. It’s unteachable, and owners, scouts, staff, and coaches love it. Combined with solid hands and decent routes, he’s worth a mid-round pick…though he’s likely to go earlier.

For fantasy purposes, I expect he’ll be a much more impactful receiver for best ball leagues than standard scoring leagues. I expect an inconsistent scorer, likely on the bench or as a play-and-pray flex.

I don’t see him occupying the top of a depth chart. He probably won’t have as many opportunities as other receivers in the draft. And though he’s the type of receiver who could get two receptions for 100+ yards and two scores, I just don’t see it happening often enough to warrant early consideration.

Additional details

Does Hyatt make it into the 1st Round? Does he run a 4.2? Drop a comment in the comment box below to let us know your thoughts!

For more scouting reports, click any of the links below:

QBRBWRTE
Will LevisTank BigsbyJordan AddisonTBD
Spencer Rattler* (2024)Sean TuckerQuentin Johnston
Anthony RichardsonZach CharbonnetJaxon Smith-Njigba
Michael Penix Jr.* (2024)Blake Corum* (2024)Jalin Hyatt
Josh Downs

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