Packers hold Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt in high regard
The Green Bay Packers have generally gravitated towards drafting bigger wide receivers, especially under general manager Brian Gutekunst, but the team’s size preference didn’t stop Gutekunst from liking a smaller receiver last year and isn’t stopping him from liking an even smaller receiver this year.
According to reporting from Justis Mosqueda of Acme Packing Co., Ohio State receiver Chris Olave was of “particular interest” to the Packers during last year’s draft cycle, and the team feels a similarly strong way about Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt this year.
Olave, who went No. 11 to the Saints after a massive trade up, weighed 187 pounds at the combine. Hyatt tipped the scales at 176 pounds in Indianapolis last week. Both stand 6-0.
While Hyatt lacks size, he certainly doesn’t lack explosiveness or speed. At the combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds (1.5-second 10-yard split), hit 40″ in the vertical jump and covered 11-3 in the broad jump. His Relative Athletic Score came in at 9.46 out of 10.0, and he was considered “elite” relative to size in both explosiveness and speed.
At the combine, Gutekunst said the Packers stay within their size/athleticism thresholds unless a player has something special to offer. Hyatt’s combination of movement ability and big-play potential can be safely labeled as special.
Also, the Packers liking Olave last year wasn’t a mistake; as a rookie, Olave caught 72 passes for 1,042 yards and seven scores for the Saints.
Might the 2023 draft provide the Packers with another chance to break tendency at receiver?
Last season, Hyatt caught 67 passes for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns in only 12 games for Tennessee. He averaged 18.9 yards per catch and 105.6 per game. Against Alabama in October, he caught six passes for 207 yards and a school record five touchdowns. Hyatt led college football in receptions of 40 or more yards (11), 50 or more yards (7) and 60 or more yards (5). He was named the 2022 Biletnikoff award winner as the nation’s top receiver and a consensus first-team All-American.
Hyatt is generally considered a first-round prospect. The Packers currently hold the No. 15 overall pick in the first round, but the team could add an additional first-round pick if Aaron Rodgers is traded (the Jets hold pick No. 13). In his mock draft, Mosqeuda sent Hyatt to the Packers at No. 13 overall after trading Rodgers to the Jets.
Imagine the big-play potential of Hyatt and Christian Watson together on the same field. It’s an intriguing possibility to consider, especially if the Packers find themselves with an extra first-rounder come April.