Leon Hall: Shutdown Cornerback

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall is one of the team's top defensive players that you don't think about because he only does his job.

There are some that continue to insist that the Cincinnati Bengals made a mistake choosing Leon Hall over Johnathan Joseph, who departed for Houston in free agency several offseasons ago. It's made Hall a relative target for those frustrated with Cincinnati's front office for not sealing Joseph, a two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, to a long-term deal.

Yet Hall is clearly doing his part.

According to Pro Football Focus' signature stat counting first downs (and touchdowns) allowed by cornerbacks, Leon Hall was one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the NFL in 2012. Per their numbers, of the 507 times that Leon Hall dropped into coverage, only 19 passing plays targeting the receiver he covered converted either a first down or touchdown. Hall's 3.75 percent ranked second among NFL cornerbacks, just behind San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver.

Hall finished the season with an 80.6 opposing quarterback rating while scoring two touchdowns himself (including the Wild Card game) and an average 32.1 yard/reception against receivers he covered.

Hall, who is scheduled to make $6.5 million in 2013, is signed through 2015 after signing a five-year deal worth $42.375 million on Sept. 2, 2011.

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