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2023 NFL Draft

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Jalin Hyatt wants to be open '24/7' for Daniel Jones


Daniel Jones can check in whenever he wants. Hyatt is always open.

"I feel like I'm just dynamic, explosive, I feel like I get open 24/7," Jalin Hyatt said in his introductory press conference at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center after the Giants traded up to grab the Tennessee wide receiver in the third round. "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."

The NFL will present a whole new world of challenges, but Hyatt certainly never seemed closed in college. A unanimous first-team All-American, Hyatt became the first player in Volunteers history to win the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding receiver.

View photos of the New York Giants' seven-member draft class.

He took the record-setting campaign national on October 15, 2022.

Alabama, then ranked No. 3 in the country, came into Neyland Stadium to play No. 5 Tennessee. In front of 101,915 fans in Knoxville and millions of viewers watching on TV, Hyatt found his way into the orange and white chessboard a program-record five times. Two of those trips to the end zone came in the fourth quarter – a 78-yarder and another from 13 yards off the arm of Hendon Hooker to tie the game with 3:26 left to play.

Chase McGrath later kicked a game-winning field goal for the Vols as time expired, leading to pandemonium as students rushed the field. The goal posts came down, and Hyatt's stock went up in their place.

"It probably changed my life," Hyatt said.

Indeed it did.

Joe Schoen, who is a "good friend" of Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel, witnessed the matchup of the year in person, although a delay coming from another game caused the Giants' general manager to miss part of his usual pregame time on the field. So, instead of heading up to the press box for kickoff, he stayed on the field for the first half.

Hyatt scored two touchdowns in the first 11 minutes.

"You could really feel his speed," Schoen said. "It's legit 4.3."

Now the Giants will be seeing it firsthand for the foreseeable future as Hyatt was part of Schoen's offseason plan to bring more speed to the roster in all three phases.

Of his 108 career catches, 52 went for 10+ yards, 30 for 20+ yards, 21 for 30+ yards, and 12 for 40+ yards. Despite their overall team success, the Giants ranked last with just 28 pass plays of at least 20 yards, well below the league average of 49.

Hyatt, however, wants to be more than just a deep threat at the next level.

"Really throughout the whole process of combine, pro day, that's really what I was working on," Hyatt said. "Just come from a different system, just getting used to more complex routes, and I'm very capable of doing what I have to do. I'm very confident in what I've done in my training and just can't wait to get to work."

Neither can Jones.

The quarterback's bankroll wasn't the only thing that got a boost this season. The Giants surrounded him with new weapons, from veterans like Darren Waller and Parris Campbell to the Biletnikoff Award winner.

Jones texted Hyatt shortly after being drafted. The essence of the message was simple: "Are you ready?"

"I'm ready," Hyatt said. "I've been ready my whole life. I'm going to be asset for him. That's what I want to be. I want to be a player he can trust, somebody who is going to be a professional and going to get open for him consistently and that's what I'm going to do for him. … I can't wait. I can't wait. Like I said, Daniel Jones, a great quarterback, we all know that, proven himself and now it's time for me to prove myself to him, and I can't wait for it."

View photos of the Giants' draft picks touring the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.


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