Skip to main content

At the NFL Combine: Three Playmakers from the University of Tennessee Have Their Sights Set on Big Things in the NFL


INDIANAPOLIS – The Titans have a need for speed, and here at the NFL Combine, there's plenty of it.

One dynamic player is from just down I-40 East – Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt.

"In high school I (ran) in the 4.29 area (in the 40)," Hyatt said on Friday. "What I want to do here at the combine is just show I'm explosive. I'm not going to give y'all a time – I just want y'all to see it, and then I want to see your reaction."

Hyatt was one of three former Volunteers to meet with reporters inside the Indiana Convention Center on Friday, joining quarterback Hendon Hooker and fellow receiver Cedric Tillman.

Four other former Vols are also here – linebacker Jeremy Banks, defensive lineman Byron Young, offensive lineman Darnell Wright, and punter Paxton Brooks.

Hyatt is an intriguing prospect because of his speed, and play-making ability. In 2022, Hyatt caught 67 passes for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-foot, 180-pounder averaged 18.9 yards per catch.

Because his highlight reel is filled with catches on deep balls, Hyatt isn't sure everyone respects his all-around game.

He hopes to prove himself here this week.

"I'm dynamic," Hyatt said. "Ya'll can say, "He's a vertical guy – a one-trick pony. He does this and that.' I do a lot more things than that. I can run routes, that comes easy to me. I can catch the ball. I have good catch radius. I have long arms. I catch everything with my hands. I'm consistent. Not only that, you can go look at the games, and last year, if you dive down and actually get in the film, I feel like, man, I am unstoppable. I feel like no one can guard me. I feel like they fear me when I get out there. So, I would definitely say I am WR1."

Tillman, whose final season at Tennessee was cut short because of an ankle injury, is out to prove himself as well.

The 6-3, 215-pounder caught just 37 passes for 417 yards in 2022, but his potential was on full display in 2021 when he recorded 64 catches for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"This is a great time for me to show what I can do," Tillman said. "I am fully healthy at this point, 100 percent, all ready to go. I'm all good.

"I know you guys (media) don't think I can run, but I can run."

Receivers are scheduled to run the 40 on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hooker, the quarterback who distributed the football in Tennessee's high-powered offense, has made great strides in his recovery from the knee injury he suffered at South Carolina near the end of the 2022 season.

Hooker said the plan is for him to throwing standing up next week, and he expects to be full-go by the start of NFL training camps in July.

Hooker completed 229-of-329 passes (69.6 percent) in 2022 for 3,135 yards, with 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

His plan is to show his all-around qualities in meetings with coaches and team executives.

"It starts with attitude," Hooker said. "I am extremely blessed to be here – this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something I have dreamed of since I was a kid. … (I want to show) I can control the offense. As you can see on film, a lot of times I make a lot of the protection calls, make a lot of checks at the line – you can see run-to-pass, pass-to-run. And then, I can make every throw. The way we run our offense, the wide splits, those are all grown man throws. I am not throwing five-yard outs. I am throwing big boy balls.

"Everybody (here) can throw the ball, and everybody is a great quarterback. But my consistency and my accuracy, as you can see on film – I completed 69 percent of my passes. So I (need) to continue to be accurate and get the playmakers the ball, that's the main goal."

Related Content

Fan Zone

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Stay up to date with team and stadium news, concert and event announcements, stream live Titans games and more!

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

A one-stop shop for Titans memorabilia, autographed items and more!

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Get Titans news sent straight to your inbox.