4 boom or bust prospects the Cowboys could target in 2023 NFL Draft
4. Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
A unanimous All-American and of the most exciting players in college football, Biletnikoff award winner Jalin Hyatt made a strong case to be among the first wide receivers to hear their name called in the 2023 NFL Draft.
With an FBS leading 7 touchdown catches of 40+ yards during 2023, Hyatt’s calling card is his game changing speed. Whether catching quick screens or stretching the defense deep, Hyatt has the speed to take the ball for 6 no matter where he is on the field. Yet more than just a speedster, Hyatt transitions quickly from pass catcher to runner on underneath routes to maximize YAC opportunities, and also has exceptional ball tracking skills. These alone some would argue are enough to guarantee he is actually a high floor prospect, with a trump card that will always need to be accounted for.
But there are some concerns that Hyatt will need to assure teams on if he is to live up to his potential draft status. Coming from Josh Heupel’s spread offense at Tennessee, Hyatt’s route tree was extremely simple. He was heavily utilized in the slot, in stack formations, and with wide splits to create natural space and prevent defenses from playing in his face. This gave him favorable matchups he is not likely to see in the NFL, such as against Alabama safety Demarco Hellams, that he will not always see on Sundays.
At 6 foot and 176 pounds with a long and lean build, play strength remains a large concern, particularly when releasing off the line of scrimmage without the free releases schemed for him at the college level. The learning curve at wide receiver for NFL offenses cannot be understated (Cowboys fans saw how severely this limited Jalen Tolbert’s playing time this past season) and Hyatt will have his work cut out for him if wants to develop to be more than a role speed player.
Overall, Hyatt’s bust potential is lower than others on this list with his game changing speed that must be accounted for on every play, but if he does not continue to refine the rest of his game, his role at the next level could be limited. Despite trading for speedster Brandin Cooks already, Hyatt has a top 30 visit scheduled with the Cowboys so he is on their radar as a potential new weapon at pick 26.