Is New York Jets’ rookie corner Bryce Hall the answer to their problems in the secondary?

New York Jets, Bryce Hall
Oct 14, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Virginia Cavaliers cornerback Bryce Hall (34) with the ball in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Why did Bryce Hall fall to the fifth round for the New York Jets, and what did they get in the talented cornerback?

When the Jets landed Bryce Hall in the fifth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, most were blown away at the value of the selection. The former Virginia star is in a position to pick up where he left off in 2018, leading the FBS with 22 pass breakups, 62 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks,  interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

Hall has fantastic size at 6’1″, 202-pounds, and after undergoing surgery on his left ankle, he missed ample playing time in 2019. Hall believes missing so much time last season played a significant part in his draft-stock tumbling:

“I think that definitely played a factor in me going a lot later than where I went, but at the end of the day I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Hall said after he was taken with the No. 158th overall selection. “I know God brought me here for a reason. I don’t ask too many questions that are above my head and I’m here now, so I’m ready to look forward from now on.”

Hall might be the steal of the draft for the Jets according to one senior advisor:

“He clearly was a first-three-rounds type of prospect. There were mock drafts literally a year ago that had him in the first round,” said Phil Savage, GM Joe Douglas’ senior advisor. “I think realistically he was a second- or third-round kind of talent. He unfortunately had that ankle fracture and he’s not able to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and he’s not able to participate in the combine. Then with this pandemic, there was really no way to ultimately follow up with him from a medical standpoint other than just the combine.”

What does Hall bring to the Jets?
Bryce is a very instinctive corner that works primarily on the outside. His long arms allow him to disturb passes and torture opposing receivers in coverage. He still needs some refinement in his hip movements as they can lack fluidity, but he’s fast and can match up with pass-catchers on vertical routes. Good agility and reactionary instincts allow him to play off-ball coverage and break well. He’s decent in man-coverage but could use more awareness on stop-and-go routes, getting beat deep on occasion.
Hall can undoubtedly be a quality starting corner for the Jets, but I believe he will need more time to develop.