New York Giants receiver building big buzz at mandatory OTAs, and it’s not Malik Nabers

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Credit: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

While there is a lot of hype around New York Giants rookie receiver Malik Nabers, it seems a pass catcher they drafted last year is garnering high praise from his coaches at offseason training activities this week.

There are many reasons why the Giants regressed in 2023 after reaching the playoffs and winning a game two years ago. The defense was not as impactful. Saquon Barkley could not match his Pro Bowl form of 2022, and Daniel Jones regressed before an injury ended his season midway through the year.

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Another area of the team that disappointed was the receiving corps. None of their youngsters or veterans could elevate their games to be threats in the passing attack, and offseason addition Darren Waller was a massive disappointment. It is a major reason why they passed on taking a quarterback and used their top pick in April’s NFL Draft on highly-touted receiving prospect Malik Nabers.

There is a lot of hope heading into the season that the LSU star can become the legitimate No. 1 receiver they have not had since Odeall Beckham Jr. However, it seems 2023 rookie Jalin Hyatt has taken a major step forward after a lot of improvements in the offseason.

  • Jalin Hyatt stats (2023): 17 games, 23 catches, 273 yards, 0 touchdowns, 16.2 yards per catch

“His growth, so far, a year removed from when he first got here is tremendous,” Giants receivers coach Mike Groh said at mandatory OTAs this week (h/t Empire Sports Media). “All of the work that he put in, investing in his game — learning what, how, and why. He’s just a different guy. He’s got stronger here in the offseason.”

When New York drafted Hyatt in Round three last year there was a belief he was a steal at pick 73. While he showed flashes of his upside in seven starts last season, the offense was too much of a mess to really make a major impact. However, with opponents likely focusing on Nabers this year, Hyatt has a path to have a big season if he truly has taken his game to new levels in year two.

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