Had he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, Bryce Hall could’ve been a former first-round pick with one year of NFL experience under his belt by now.
An injury-filled senior season is the first thing that comes to mind when Hall gets brought up nowadays, but he still has a special skillset that could make him extremely valuable in the NFL.
Pros: He has the intelligence to play effectively in many coverage roles, but Hall is best as a Cover 2 cornerback. He gets a good jam, rerouting the receiver, and makes great reads. As a result, he is always in a position to make a play on the ball.
At Virginia he was frequently asked to be the force player in Cover 2, meaning he was responsible for aggressively containing the outside run. He is an aggressive tackler who excelled in this role.
As a result, he projects well as a slot cornerback. In that position he can play mainly underneath zone coverage and have an impact on the run defense. He is also a favorable man coverage matchup with tight ends and big slots.
He understands body positioning, field positioning, and how to play routes. This helps him win and make a play on the ball even when at an athletic disadvantage.
Cons: Hall has some athletic limitations. He is a bit stiff in the hips and slow to transition from his backpedal to turn and run deep with a receiver.
He lacks the top end speed to match up effectively with faster receivers vertically.
Hall may not be able to make a living as an everyday starter at outside cornerback, but is resourceful enough to get by in the short term.
Red Flags: His 2019 season ended abruptly when he sustained an injury to his left foot that required surgery.
NFL Comp: Chris Harris Jr.
Bengals Fit: The Bengals deal with Mackensie Alexander was only good for one year. Hall could be his eventual replacement in the slot.
Draftability: Hall had a lot of buzz prior to his injury, but between the injury and his athletic limitations, he could slip. It is doubtful he makes it to Round 4, but he could be an excellent addition in Round 3.
Summary: Hall is a highly skilled, intelligent, physical player who could be an excellent pro. His best fit is at slot cornerback. This position mitigates his athletic limitations while taking full advantage of his zone coverage skill and ability to defend the run.