Giants’ Jalin Hyatt feels he can ‘get open 24/7’
Nine wide receivers heard their names get called in the 2023 NFL Draft before the Giants laid claim to Jalin Hyatt in the third round. And if you ask the Tennessee product, he would tell you Big Blue got the best one.
“There are a lot of good receivers in this draft… but I'm very confident in myself and where my game is. I really believe I'm the best receiver in the draft,” Hyatt said at his introductory news conference Saturday. “It doesn't matter where I was slotted at, but now, I'm here. I'm here in New York and it's time to get to work.”
In addition to confidence, something the new Giant appears to be in no short supply, Hyatt has all the attributes a team would want.
“I feel like I'm just dynamic, explosive, I feel like I get open 24/7,” he said. “I think that's what you want in a receiver, and I feel like really with those three attributes, I think that's what separates myself from everybody else.”
One thing the 21-year-old may need is weight. After tipping the scales in Indianapolis at 176 pounds in early March for the NFL Combine, Hyatt said he is focused on bulking up between now and the start of his rookie campaign.
“When I play this season, I want to be at 190,” Hyatt said. “I'm very proud of what I've done in my prep as far as getting here and as far as my weight gain. But it’s just a comfortable thing for me, just want to be at that 190 spot when I come into the season.”
The added bulk will increase his confidence in catching the ball in contested areas of the field and make it more difficult for defenders to bump him off routes and jam him at the line of scrimmage as he adjusts from SEC play to the NFL.
Of course, he isn’t worried the added weight will do anything to diminish his 4.4 speed. “No, it's going to stay with me. It's going to stay with me. I was born with it,” he said.
Speed is something Hyatt needs in abundance to help take a Giants offense that is looking to add more explosiveness in the passing game to take some of the pressure off of Saquon Barkley and the running game.
“They can't really load the box. They can't go down there and just blitz the whole game,” he said. “They are going to have to respect us and that's what I'll bring and add to the table.”
The Biletnikoff Award winner for the nation's top college receiver said he can “play everywhere” and doesn’t have any apprehension about playing in the slot or outside in Brian Daboll’s offense. “Wherever coach wants me at, that's where I'm going to play at and I'm going to do what I have to do,” he said.
In addition to the coaching staff, Hyatt, who got an “Are you ready?” text from Daniel Jones on Friday, is focused on earning his new quarterback’s faith.
“I'm going to be [an] asset for him. That's what I want to be,” he said. “I want to be a player [that] he can trust, somebody who is going to be a professional and going to get open for him consistently.”
Hyatt added that Jones has “proven himself and now it's time for me to prove myself to him. I can't wait for it."