Is Jets third-year CB Bryce Hall set to have a bigger role than expected?

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The New York Jets selected cornerback Bryce Hall in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. He was a successful corner at Virginia and a respected prospect. Hall has a prototypical frame in every way. He is 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, has 32 1/4″ arm length, and 9 5/8″ hands. However, due to an ankle injury, his draft stock fell tremendously. When the Jets were eventually the team that capitalized on his fall, it generated excitement amongst the fanbase.

As a rookie in 2020, Hall was still recovering from the injury early on in the season. He played the final eight games of the year and showed some encouraging things. Hall entered 2021 as the Jets’ clear-cut best cornerback.

Throughout last year, he once again proved promise with good play in what was a young and inexperienced secondary. He started all 17 games of the 2021 season and nearly played 100% of the defense’s snaps (1,169) right after many injury concerns. Last year, Hall recorded 16 passes defended which ranked him tied for sixth in the NFL. While Hall played well in his second year, the only issue was not recording an interception.

Jets add two big cornerbacks

Entering this offseason, fans generally expected that the Jets would add one big-time cornerback in either free agency or the draft. Even with one new outside starter, Hall would still be the projected starter on the other side.

On the second day of free agency, the Jets agreed to a hefty three-year deal with 25-year-old DJ Reed. Still, at that time, Hall was going to be the starter opposite Reed.

Then, in the draft, the Jets added an elite prospect in Sauce Gardner with the first of many premium selections.

With Gardner and Reed added, it was anticipated that Hall’s role would significantly decrease to a permanent backup as the third outside cornerback.

Projecting Hall’s role

However, early on in training camp, Hall has been alternating with Gardner on the starting unit every other day. It leads to the question, will Hall have a more significant role in 2022 for the Jets than expected?

Hall is only 24 and going into his third year. He is under contract with the Jets for the next two years. Over his first 25 games played for the Jets, Hall has proven himself on a respectable level.

At this point, Reed is a lock for the starting defense. Early in the season, Hall may be rotated in more frequently as Gardner gets up to speed. There could be a specific series or two in a half where the Jets look to integrate Hall as Gardner gains more experience. In the end, though, the Jets selected Gardner at the top of the draft to play.

Hall provides quality cornerback depth for the Jets behind Gardner and Reed. As the season progresses and Gardner feels more comfortable, the role for Hall gets harder to figure out. While he may get some snaps early, in the middle to later point of the season, barring injury, Hall’s role will likely be more limited.