NFL insider Jordan Schultz of The Score shared recently that the Buffalo Bills hosted Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt on a top-30 pre-draft visit. Hyatt is another in a long list of receiver prospects the team has met with between the NFL Scouting Combine, pro days, private meetings, and officially at One Bills Drive.
Two big visits for the #Bills today:#Tennessee star WR Jalin Hyatt’s visiting. The Biletnikoff Winner is a projected 1st-round pick.#SouthCarolina DL Zacch Pickens is also in Buffalo. Former 5-star recruit checks in at 6-4, 291-pounds: 4 TFL / 2.5 sacks last year. @theScore— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) April 10, 2023
Prior to Hyatt’s junior season, opportunities to contribute were limited as the WR4 in the Volunteers’ offense. In those two seasons, Hyatt made 41 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns in 23 games. It took him adding weight to find a role as the co-WR1 with Cedric Tillman in 2022 — but a high-ankle injury to Tillman opened the door for Hyatt who changed the receiving landscape in Tennessee.
Hyatt’s 2022 campaign represented a true breakout, catching 67 passes for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns in 12 starts. That effort earned him the Fred Biletnikoff Award — presented to the most outstanding American college football receiver — as well as first-team Associated Press All-American accolades.
Jalin Hyatt is built long and lean, standing 6’ and weighing 176 pounds with 32 1/2” arms and 9” hands. At the NFL combine, Hyatt ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, a 1.5-second 10-yard split, as well a 40” vertical, and 11’3” broad jump. Hyatt’s best routes tend to be those that allow him to stretch a defense as though running a track heat.
If a team is second-guessing Hyatt’s fit, it might be due to the nature of the system he played in and his slight stature. Did his experience at Tennessee properly prepare Hyatt to play in the NFL, or will his success be limited to plays tailor maid to suit his best traits? It remains to be seen how well he will do with a more complex route tree that asks him to move the sticks at all levels of the field. Interestingly, he has a 90% career rate playing in the slot (per James Fragoza). Is his size a concern for his ability to remain healthy and available to an offense? Between his sophomore and junior seasons, Hyatt put on 15 pounds, so proof exists he can bulk up.
More than a few who study college football and analyze NFL prospects believe Hyatt’s ceiling is in line with Will Fuller or even DeSean Jackson.
Does he fit the Bills? With so much energy spent within this blog and among those who discuss the Buffalo Bills, Jalin Hyatt’s brand of football appears to be just what the doctor ordered. He’d give Buffalo a proper Z (flanker) receiver to fully exploit defenses that try to take away Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, or Dawson Knox. Hyatt has the potential to develop into far more than a down-and-distance sprinter whose bread and butter is catching low-percentage footballs. But that will take time as he adapts to a bigger playbook and expanded role in an NFL offense. While he does adjust, Hyatt’s likely to still remain a very dangerous contributor to any game plan. Yes, Jalin Hyatt’s an ideal fit for the Buffalo Bills.