The Green Bay Packers found a couple of talented young receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft with Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, but general manager Brian Gutekunst could add another weapon to the offense.
With a 4-7 record after a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, the Packers are nearly eliminated from playoff contention. While the team will keep fighting until playoff elimination is official, the front office is already hard at work preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ryan Wilson with CBS Sports already has a player in mind for the Packers in the first round of his latest 2023 mock draft. He mocked the Packers to take Tennessee Volunteers wideout Jalin Hyatt to help bolster the team’s wide receiver room.
“Hyatt wasn’t in the first-round conversation heading into the season, but he’s a great example of a player taking advantage of his opportunities, thanks in large part to Hendon Hooker’s Heisman Trophy campaign,” Wilson said. “Hyatt is a bona fide deep threat who consistently stacks defensive backs who have been helpless to do much about it all season.”
While it’s unclear if Aaron Rodgers will return in 2023, a young and exciting trio of receivers in Watson, Doubs, and Hyatt could convince him to stay around a bit longer.
Who is Jalin Hyatt?
Hyatt wasn’t on the radar of draft analysts heading into the 2022 season, but after a phenomenal season with the Volunteers, the junior receiver is starting to get some serious first-round buzz.
The Volunteers receiver was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school in South Carolina. He received numerous FBS offers from programs including Miami, Michigan, and Penn State, but he decided to commit to Tennessee to play for the Volunteers.
It was an extremely quiet first two seasons for Hyatt, catching just 41 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns. That changed in 2022, with Hyatt pacing for a season worthy of an All-American selection. Through the first 11 games, Hyatt has caught 64 passes for 1,181 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Hyatt was put on the map when the Volunteers pulled off the upset over Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Saban had no answers for the junior, who caught six passes for 207 yards and five touchdowns.
At 6’0″ and 180 pounds, Hyatt has tremendous play speed and regularly burns past defenders to make plays deep downfield. If he landed in Green Bay, opposing defenses would have a hard time handling the speed of both Hyatt and Watson for the Packers.
Is Christian Watson the Next Star Packers WR?
It may have taken a while, but Christian Watson might have finally established himself as the next great Packers receiver.
After a brutal drop on what would have been a 75-yard touchdown on his first NFL play, Watson dealt with a hamstring injury and a concussion that kept him sidelined for multiple games. He finally had his breakout game against the Dallas Cowboys, catching four passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
The performance was so impressive that fans started to compare the rookie to Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss. Watson came right back just a few days later on Thursday Night Football with four catches for 48 yards and another two touchdowns.
He may still be getting his feet under him at the NFL level, but the flashes that Watson showed over that two-week span indicate that the Packers may have a special player at wide receiver.