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Jalin Hyatt appears in first round of new 2023 NFL Mock Draft

This is as high as we’ve seen him go.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Not only did Jalin Hyatt emerge as a big-play threat during the 2022 season, he became one of the best players in all of college football. He achieved legend status against Alabama, scoring a whopping five times as the Crimson Tide couldn’t come up with any answers defensively.

This monster year he’s putting the finishing touches on certainly has caught the eye of the NFL, too. In a recent mock draft on CBS Sports, Hyatt came off the board in the middle of the first round. 16th overall to the Packers, to be specific.

Here’s CBS Sports contributor Ryan Wilson on the pick.

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. Hyatt is a bona fide deep threat who consistently stacks defensive backs who have been helpless to do much about it all season.

With two games left to play, Hyatt has 64 catches for 1,181 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.

Hyatt does one thing really well, and it’s something that you can’t teach. His blazing speed will be a huge draw for NFL teams, and we’ve seen that specific trait rocket prospects up the board before. Making the evaluation tougher is the fact that Hyatt doesn’t play in a traditional offense. Evaluators won’t love Hyatt’s limited route tree in Josh Heupel’s offense, which was a common gripe with Baylor receiver prospects several years back.

Hyatt, a junior out of South Carolina, stands in at 6-0, 180 pounds. He’s coming off of two of his worst games of the season, struggling with drops. Hyatt will have a chance to finish strong against a really bad Vanderbilt secondary this week — you can expect Joe Milton to uncork a few deep shots his way.

Tennessee is set to lose Cedric Tillman this offseason, and very well could lose Hyatt as well. Ramel Keyton is expected to return, along with Bru McCoy. From there, we’ll be talking about guys like Squirrel White, Walker Merrill and Jimmy Holiday.

Hyatt could return and be the guy for Joe Milton, or he may hit the exits with Hendon Hooker’s eligibility now expired. If he does, that’s quite a big chunk of production to replace in 2023.