Last week’s NFL Combine led to many reports and rumors about April’s NFL Draft in Kansas City. Among those was a report that University of Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt met with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jalin Hyatt says he has met with the #Steelers, #Chiefs, and #Cowboys. He has NOT met with the #Buccaneers.— Tyler Kading (@tkading712) March 3, 2023
He’s obviously very excited to potentially catch passes from Patrick Mahomes. pic.twitter.com/Bs4Os5Vu9h
Here’s what to know about a potential Kansas City draft target:
A four-star prospect out of Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, South Carolina, Hyatt holds his alma mater’s all-time records for receiving yards (3,624) and touchdowns (57) — and led the school to back-to-back undefeated seasons and class 5A state championships.
After two quiet seasons to start his time in Knoxville, Hyatt exploded for 1,267 yards, 67 receptions, and 15 touchdowns as a junior. Standing 6’0” and weighing 176 pounds, he used his electrifying speed to blow the top off of defenses and leave defenders shell-shocked.
During his career at Tennesee, Hyatt posted only a 5% drop rate, recording just five drops during his final season.
His vertical route running is the best of any player in the 2023 class — which is likely to be what has attracted the Chiefs’ interest.
Jalin Hyatt's acceleration is wild. He slow played it out of the stack quite a few times this game, but when the DB moves to the outside he has his chance to get to the middle of the field. Safety is late getting over, no chance once he has the ball in his hands. pic.twitter.com/gJ8OVoxMyn— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) March 1, 2023
His ability to accelerate and change gears as a play progresses is another thing that sets him apart from other receivers who use speed to define their play.
Nothing real complicated here, Hyatt is fast and can track the ball.— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) March 4, 2023
He does a great job to track the ball and haul it in for six. pic.twitter.com/6a2syHCYWW
While NFL receivers continue to get faster every year, some members of this new generation of track stars can have trouble finding the ball, allowing them to give up a lot of potential big plays. But Hyatt has mastered tracking the long ball. He is lethal from anywhere on the field.
While the deep passing game was where the Volunteers primarily used him, he will need to continue to develop his ability to run underneath routes at the next level. If he can add a few more elements to his game, he can become a complete player in the NFL.
The bottom line
Hyatt’s spectacular Combine results will likely make him an even hotter draft prospect. While his game is currently one-dimensional, his speed is an elite trait that few players possess. While his size and stature might limit his ability to effectively develop other areas of his game, his presence in the Kansas City offense could once again make it explosive.
During his time in Kansas City, head coach Andy Reid has put a premium on speed. Now that Patrick Mahomes has evolved into an efficient gunslinger — which led to winning his second MVP award in 2022 — it would be interesting to see how such an explosive playmaker would look in the Chiefs' offense.