Darren Hall 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Position: Cornerback/ Defensive Back
Weight: 189 pounds
School: San Diego State
Pro Day Measurables
4o-yd Dash: 4.47 sec
Broad Jump: 132″
Shuttle: 4.28 seconds
Three Cone: 7.07 seconds
Bench Press: 16 reps
Darren Hall 2021 NFL Draft Profile
San Diego State has been a sleeper school in recent years, quietly producing NFL-level talents like Rashaard Penny and Damontae Kazee. This year, defensive back Darren Hall is highly touted as the latest in a long line of Aztecs to be taken in the upcoming NFL draft.
Redshirting his first year, Hall was a revelation for the Aztecs as a freshman. Starting slowly as a special teamer, the safety-turned-corner’s career picked up steam throughout the season. Performances against Eastern Michigan and Boise State saw him earn Mountain West Player of the Week honors in consecutive games. Ultimately, Hall was named SDSU’s most outstanding freshman, alongside running back Jordan Byrd.
Despite missing the season opener of his sophomore year due to injury, Hall’s play did not diminish. He played all of the remaining 12 games, starting 11. Now an established member on the Aztec defense, the stat sheet began to reflect Hall’s talent. A testament to his versatility, he logged 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown, and an interception on the year. In addition, his 16 pass breakups in 2019 tied for second place in SDSU’s single season history.
As a junior, Hall earned his way onto the shortlist for the Jim Thorpe award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back. A three game stretch in late November/early December saw Hall grab three interceptions as he continued to demonstrate his playmaking ability. Declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, Hall received an invite to the Senior Bowl, where he met with representatives from all 32 NFL teams.
- Positional versatility; began his SDSU career at safety
- Super aggressive playing the ball
- Tremendous instincts for ball placement
- Fantastic tackler; although only 190 pounds, he is sturdily built
- Sharp and responsive, with smooth and efficient footwork
- Outstanding patience in lateral pursuit, both on receivers and ball carriers
- Lacks elite size, although he plays bigger than his size
- Tackling is effective, but not textbook; doesn’t always wrap up
- Overconfident in baiting quarterbacks and gambling underneath
- Doesn’t possess elite downfield speed
- Little to no experience in playing pure press man-to-man
NFL Comparison: Desmond King II
Teams With Need at Position: Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals
Projection: Sixth or seventh round, but a team could reach and take him in the fifth round.
Bottom Line on Darren Hall
Darren Hall is a solid cornerback prospect in the upcoming draft. He has above average instincts for the football and that, combined with his ball skills, means he has the potential to be an absolute turnover machine in the NFL. However, his eagerness and aggression could be exploited by better quarterback play at the NFL-level. He does lack both elite size and speed, but his savvy style of play and moxie tend to make up for those minor deficiencies. Furthermore, his tackling style is electrifying and has been effective so far, but might lead to some tackling opportunities missed against some of the league’s sturdier players.
Hall would suit a versatile zone scheme that utilizes his skills the length of the field. He has the instincts and tackling ability to be effective close to the line of scrimmage, even in the box as a nickel corner. He has good closing speed and lateral quickness, which are useful in sealing backside running lanes. In deeper areas of the field, he should be able to demonstrate the ball skills and gambler’s confidence that earned him such acclaim in college. He wouldn’t be a good fit with a press man scheme, given his lack of experience in that technique and his size. although he could benefit in a team that employs some off-man coverages. An ideal situation would give Hall safety help over the top.
With a gambler’s spirit, Hall’s style of play could be capitalized on by NFL passing concepts and better quarterbacks. Yet, the latest SDSU product has an attractive nose for the football and the skills to seize even the smallest opportunity. A big play player, it remains to be seen whether those plays will come for or against him.