When the New York Giants drafted Jalin Hyatt in the third round of April’s draft, the team already knew that his breakneck speed could make him a needed addition to last year’s woeful passing attack.
Through two weeks of training camp, it appears Hyatt is well on his way to becoming a top playmaker for the organization.
“I’d group him with all the rookies. Some good, some bad, some things to learn from but he’s really in the same category as all the rookies that we have,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said after practice Friday.
Hyatt’s frame (6’0″ 185lbs.) compares similarly to other speed demons across NFL history. The Tennessee standout is bigger than some past players like DeSean Jackson, but his speed and quickness should compare him well to some of the other speed demons in NFL history.
But just how excited should fans of Big Blue be for their third-round rookie? Most teams don’t look for mid-round picks to contribute early to the team. Hyatt’s skill set might be a perfect blend for what the Giants need though, especially if they go through another rash of injuries like last season.
“Just getting open consistently, making plays when they do throw the ball to me. That’s one thing I just want to show. I just want to consistently get open and show them that even under pressure, we still get things done,” Hyatt said.
Coming in with strong expectations isn’t new for New York this season. After winning their first playoff game in over a decade, Big Blue is looking to compete for a Super Bowl title this season, while also usurping Dallas and Philadelphia in their division.
That’s where Hyatt’s skillset can come in handy. New York bolstered their receiving core during the offseason even before bringing in their rocket rookie. Darren Waller and Parris Campbell were brought in to stabilize the passing offense. The return of Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Sterling Shepard also makes the offense a more formidable group to stop in 2023.
All this doesn’t include Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley either. In fact, Hyatt’s true skillset has allowed the Giants to ease the running back into practices without relying on him to be the bell cow.
“What we want to do, we want to make it easier for (running back) Saquon (Barkley). We don’t want them loading the box where now they have to respect us. I think that’s what we want to get out of this, just make it easier for our running backs. That’s why I’m here,” Hyatt explained.
If the Giants are going to be taken seriously this year, their passing offense will need to be far more consistent than they were last season. By all accounts through the start of training camp, the group has looked excellent and more than capable of rising to the high expectations that have been set.
In a place like that, it’s hard for rookies to find their footing immediately. Hyatt has done a good job of acclimating himself to his new home but if he’s able to continue to turn heads in practice, it could mean that the Giants will have another top weapon at their disposal this season.
And this one might be the fastest one they’ve ever had.
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