Did the New York Jets land a steal in cornerback Bryce Hall?
The New York Jets knew what they were getting in Bryce Hall when they drafted him in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. A considerable amount of NFL analysts coined Hall as a potential steal in the draft, and the Jets managed to grab him in one of the later rounds due to injury in 2019.
Hall was on pace to end up in the first or second rounds, but as stated above, injuries derailed his season and ultimately forced him to settle as a day three draft pick. The Virginia stand-out lead the nation in pass breakups, and his most significant positive is his ability in one-on-one coverage.
Scouts are really excited about his potential, but there are some negatives that he needs to work on at the NFL level. Improving his ball skills, which translates to turnovers, and adapting to a zone coverage system would aid him in his development. However, Hall is a perfect man coverage player for the Jets, who recently cut Trumaine Johnson after his disastrous contract.
Ironically, Hall was formally a wide receiver in high school, which makes his ball skills problem a bit more interesting. Of course, as a receiver, your eyes are on the ball at all times and tracking the throw from your quarterback. As a corner, you have to swing your head around the last second or break on a route to land an interception. The reaction timing and anticipation hast to be there, and that is what Hall really needs to work on.
Analysts have also claimed that he is the epitome of a lockdown corner, and is a player that can take away a section of the field, Revis style.
I believe the Jets will designate him to island duties in the future if he progresses as they hope, but he does need to develop a bit before they can trust him in that role. He is bouncing back from the season-ending ankle injury while featuring on Virginia’s special teams unit. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, he has the perfect frame to be a stand-out corner in the future, but the Jets seem dedicated to leaning on Pierre Desir for the time being.
I do like Hall’s mentality toward film work and focusing on improvements on a detailed level. If he can translate all of these positives to the NFL, Bryce could absolutely be one of the bigger steals in the draft. With that being said, I don’t think he will be a starter for the first few games of the 2020 regular season, but since the Jets haven’t invested in a premium level corner, I think he will begin to earn starting wrap sooner rather than later.