When the Chargers offense was hit the hardest by injuries earlier this season, Justin Herbert spent multiple games throwing to Joshua Palmer and then a bunch of guys who have had little to no experience playing in an actual NFL game.
After seeing one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL forced to work with such inadequate talent, many draft analysts have used that as the reasoning behind pairing the Chargers with a speedy wideout in early 2023 mock drafts.
In a new mock by ESPN’s Jordan Reid, he has the Bolts selecting Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt with the 24th-overall selection.
“I see Hyatt as the missing element in this offense,” says Reid. “The Chargers need a vertical threat who can stretch the third level of the defense, and the Biletnikoff Award winner averaged 18.9 yards per catch in 2022. Hyatt is a player who can break open a game in an instant, and teaming him up with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams provides Justin Herbert with a high-caliber supporting cast. Herbert’s 6.8 yards per attempt ranked 26th in the NFL this season, down from 7.5 (11th) in 2021. But Hyatt’s downfield ability can help turn that back toward the top of the league.”
Hyatt broke out in a huge way for the Volunteers this season by totaling 1,267 receiving yards and a whopping 15 touchdowns catches on 67 receptions. In his previous two seasons, Hyatt had just 502 receiving yards and four touchdowns COMBINED.
For his efforts, the 6’0, 175-pound Hyatt was named this year’s Fred Biletnikoff Award winner for being the nation’s top wide receiver, on top of being named a consensus First-Team All-American.
Hyatt being just a one-year wonder for the Vols may have some fans questioning how safe of a pick he would be, but he also wouldn’t be the first NFL star to turn one productive year in college into a first-round draft selection.
Jalin Hyatt vs. Alabama— 7th Rounders Podcast (@7thPodcast) December 26, 2022
• 6 receptions
• 207 yards
• 5 TDs (program-record)pic.twitter.com/8bPZ9lgJIk
In the comments below, let us know what you all think of this selection and whether or not you’d be satisfied with Hyatt in the first round!