With the Falcons cutting Desmond Trufant, you could argue that cornerback is just as dire of a need as a pass rusher. Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield have shown promise, but that duo is likely not ready to be the top two corners for a quality NFL secondary. While Atlanta will probably need to add some sort of veteran to bolster this unit, former Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall could present the perfect option as a long-term solution.
Hall is the big-bodied corner every team dreams of acquiring. Many thought that after his impressive 2018, he would forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2019 NFL Draft as the possible first cornerback off the board. Hall did not, and unfortunately, his last season was derailed by injury. Though he was not available to help his Cavaliers on their biggest stage against Clemson, Hall still was able to display his shutdown corner ability before the injury. While Bryce Perkins and Virginia’s offense was the talking point of a 2019 breakout team, Hall had the brightest NFL future of any player on the roster, and he was sitting on the sidelines when it mattered most.
Hall is incredible on the ball, leading college with 21 pass breakups in 2018, his last full season played. He forced an incompletion on 31.9% of his opportunities that year and limited passers to a 69 passer rating. This is mostly in part due to his length, but he is also ridiculously fast, clocking over 22 mph on plays during his college career, and extremely athletic.
Hall plays with a ton of physicality, and draft evaluators seem to be underrating his quickness. He’s a perfect fit and future starter for a team running a Cover 3 scheme, which the Falcons do. Hall is also a super underrated tackler who can set the edge and help stop the running back when called upon. He’s a high character guy that the coaches loved at UVA and can match up against opposing tight ends as well as big-bodied receivers due to his size.
“I think he would be a huge asset. He should fit the defensive scheme too.”
“You see him as a top 10 pick this year if he does not get hurt.”
“He’s tall, he’s long, he always has good body position and he’s a huge student of the game. He loves the technical side of football probably more than anyone I have been around.”
“If you want a guy who can shut down the number one receiver, then he is the guy who will give you the best chance with his skillset.”
Hall was unable to participate in the NFL Combine after his season was cut short by surgery for a fractured ankle. On the one hand, this could be a turnoff for a Falcons team that needs immediate help at the position. On the other, he will likely be good to go by the time the season rolls around, and he could potentially be had much later in the draft because of the injury.
The sample size we have seen from Hall has been terrific, and he has all the projectability you could ask for in a cornerback. If he is an option when the Falcons are on the clock on Day 2, few corner prospects are more impressive.