Top-20 Bengals Players of 2013: No. 3 Cornerback Leon Hall

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our list of the top-20 Bengals players of 2013 with one of the most solid players on the roster in cornerback, Leon Hall.

Leon Hall probably won't get the recognition for being a tremendously productive cornerback in the NFL, but he's rock solid, capable of defending receivers on an island with enough awareness to play zone coverage well. Because of his talent and technique (which has earned him the nickname of the technician), defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is able to apply radical schemes with enough confidence that Hall will hold his own. He's not perfect, nor shutdown, but he's as close to those descriptions as one can be.

WHY HE SHOULD BE HERE

Let's face facts. Without Leon Hall last year, the Cincinnati Bengals may not have made the postseason. His interception against the Philadelphia Eagles was a much-needed momentum shift that carried over to the offense. The pick-six against the Pittsburgh Steelers was Cincinnati's lone touchdown that led to a 13-10 win to clinch the postseason.

Hall even gave Cincinnati a chance against the Houston Texans with a pick-six during the Bengals wild card loss. In fact, if you combine the last three games (Steelers, Ravens, Texans), Hall scored more touchdowns than the first-team offense 2-1 (Dalton connected with Jones on an 11-yard touchdown reception against Baltimore).

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE HERE

He still has the tendency of giving a big play here or there. Hall allowed a 52-yarder against the Ravens, a 31-yarder against the Steelers, and a 45-yarder against the Broncos, which were big impacts in those respective games. Five opposing quarterbacks posted a passer rating over 100 during passes that targeted players that Hall covered. Additionally, Hall allowed 63.8 percent of the passes against receivers that he covered.

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