Jalin Hyatt part of a wide-open competition to return punts for Giants

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Last year, wide receiver Richie James was the Giants’ primary punt returner. This year, James signed with the Chiefs in free agency, and the Giants don’t know who will take on the punt returner role.

It might be rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, who didn’t play much on special teams in college at Tennessee but who has the athletic traits that could allow him to excel on punt returns. Hyatt was working on punt returns at rookie minicamp, and Giants coach Brian Daboll said Hyatt will be in the mix for the job when the season starts.

Absolutely,” Daboll said, via the New York Post. “We’ll put as many guys back there as we can to figure that one out.”

Other candidates to return punts for the Giants include Darnay Holmes and Adoree' Jackson.

5 responses to “Jalin Hyatt part of a wide-open competition to return punts for Giants

  1. Hyatt is a dynamic player.

    As an SEC fan, I was shocked to see how far he fell in the draft.

    Dude takes the top off like no other receiver in college football last year and I am not a TN fan.

  2. Adoree Jackson is a really good punt returner but I hoped they learned the lesson, only put him back there in momentum situations not every time.

  3. I thought Hyatt was the best WR in the draft, and I think he’ll do better in the NFL than he did in college. I think he could become one of the best WR’s in the league. However, that doesn’t qualify him to be a punt return guy. Two completely different skill sets. It doesn’t require athletic traits. It’s all mental. Any RB, Wr, Cb, or safety possesses the athletic traits. Returning punts is different from anything else in football. Even totally different than returning kickoffs. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen some awesome 4.7 guys who were great punt return guys. I’ve seen plenty of 4.3 guys that couldn’t do it. I’ve seen WR’s with great hands who fumbled a lot of punts. I’ve seen smart safeties do fine. Catching the punt is the hard part, and just because you can do it in practice doesn’t mean anything. Jackson would be where I start looking.

  4. Returning punts is a right of passage for young electric players. Beckham did it, John Taylor did it. Once you established, no need to risk your health.

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