Someone tell New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton to put on earmuffs because he’s not going to like this.
Dalton Miller of Pro Football Network recently ranked the NFL’s 11 fastest players and although a Giant did make the list, it was not the speedy Slayton. Rather, it was rookie third-round pick, Jalin Hyatt.
Jalin Hyatt ran the most disappointing 4.40 in the history of the NFL Combine. It was a peculiar result considering his 1.5 10-yard split landed in the 97th percentile while his 20 and 40-yard splits hovered around the 94th percentile. And yes, that was disappointing.
Because anybody who watched Hyatt play knew he was capable of much, much more. College wide receivers run past safeties and cornerbacks all the time. There are silly coverage gaffes in every game that make it look like a DB is in quicksand. But Hyatt did that to Alabama, and while there were some issues in coverage, his dominance was athletic in nature. He simply has another gear over anyone else he’s shared the field with.
Hyatt’s not a very good receiver at this point. In order to become a reliable target, there’s a lot he must improve upon, even as a more one-dimensional downfield threat. Nevertheless, Hyatt’s speed will immediately help the Giants’ offense situationally because he will occupy safeties downfield and open up the middle for Daniel Jones and the passing attack.
The whole “not a complete wide receiver” narrative aside, Hyatt is about as fast as they come. In fact, former Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton has already gone on record saying Hyatt is faster than Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, who topped the PFN list.
“All I can say is (that) Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle aren’t the fastest in the NFL no more,” Milton said in May. “That guy is running.”
But Slayton isn’t on board with any of this. He insists he’s still the Giants’ fastest player and therefore the fastest player in the NFL.
“It has to be me,” Slayton responded when asked who was faster him or Hyatt. “Love him, great kid, but it has to be me.
“As a speed guy, I lean towards other speed guys. I like watching people flying around fast. We’ve got a lot of them now. Parris was a 4.30 guy. Jeff Smith was a 4.2 guy, low 4.3 guy. And Hyatt obviously could fly. I could fly. You turn on the film, it’s a whole lot of flying. I mean, it’s fun to watch, fun to play with guys like that.”
The fact that Slayton didn’t even warrant an “honorable mention” from Pro Football Network is surprising and something the 2019 fifth-round pick will undoubtedly like to have a word about.