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2024 Second-Year Scouting Report: Jalin Hyatt

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The new rookie class around the NFL gets all the attention over the summer. They’re the flashy new pieces for fantasy football, and of course they can be anything.

But last year’s rookies aren’t fully formed yet. The players entering their second season aren’t the fancy new thing anymore. That can open up some value in fantasy drafts for players still due to break out, and it can lead to fantasy mistakes for players who had a good first season and turn out to be a mirage. Everyone knows Year 1 to Year 2 is one of the biggest jumps an NFL player can make, but this still happens.

Over the course of the summer, we’re going to revisit last year’s rookie class in our Second-Year Scouting Report series, looking at the incoming sophomore NFL players to see what went right in their rookie season, what went wrong and what we can expect from them going forward.

Jalin Hyatt, WR, New York Giants 

Jalin Hyatt emerged as a polarizing prospect in the 2023 draft. Known for his elite speed and ability to outmatch defenders deep, he lacked refinement in his route-running. His skill set was well-suited to Tennessee’s spread offense in college, where in 2022 he totaled 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s top receiver. Despite this, doubts lingered about how his game would translate to the NFL, especially considering this was the first season he topped 300 receiving yards in his career.

Draft day reflected these concerns, as he slipped to the third round at pick 73, where the Giants took a chance on him. The pairing with coaches Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka, known for their use of pre-snap motion and free releases, seemed promising. However, Hyatt struggled as a rookie to make a significant impact for the Giants and his fantasy managers.

What Went Wrong

Hyatt faced challenges earning targets for the Giants despite running the second-most routes on the team (298). He garnered just 40 targets, resulting in 23 catches for 373 yards – just 0.96 yards per route run via PFF, ranking him fifth among players with over 40 targets on the roster. His 48 yards after the catch leaves room for plenty of improvement. 

Hyatt struggled at the catch point, dropping 16% of his targets and converting only two of 10 contested targets. While some issues can be attributed to quarterback play, Hyatt’s play also contributed to his difficulties. 

This all resulted in 3.1 half-PPR points per game en route to 48.8 in total and a WR98 finish – far from any viable production. 

What Went Right

Very little. 

Despite running 298 routes and appearing in all 17 games for the Giants last season as a rookie, Hyatt saw limited targets. In this small sample size, he led the team with 16.2 yards per reception and ranked second with 841 air yards, highlighting his big-play potential. However, these big plays were sporadic, possibly due to quarterback issues in 2023.

Prognosis Entering 2024

There’s optimism surrounding Hyatt due to his big-play ability, but it’s uncertain if this potential will be realized. Adding Malik Nabers to the mix should create space for Hyatt, yet it might limit his opportunities in a low-volume passing attack. With Daniel Jones providing only marginal improvement over last year’s situation, Hyatt’s upside appears limited. While his price in redraft leagues may be affordable, making him a late-round flier, it’s a risky pick that could prove more trouble than it’s worth.

Dynasty Outlook

The long-term outlook for Hyatt is bleak. In today’s NFL, it’s rare for a rookie receiver with limited early production to develop into a top-tier fantasy asset. Hyatt’s skills primarily as a field-stretcher will likely confine him to a role with limited upside in most offenses. The addition of Nabers and uncertainty at quarterback further diminishes his ceiling, potentially restricting him to seasons where he struggles to top 80 targets.

While the quarterback situation could change, it’s unlikely this team will transform into a high-volume passing attack anytime soon, which is crucial for Hyatt’s fantasy relevance. Given these factors, I recommend moving on from Hyatt in all dynasty formats if possible.

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