Jets can draft CB Bryce Hall as solid depth piece for defense

Bryce Hall, Virginia Cavaliers. Tamorrion Terry, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Bryce Hall, Virginia Cavaliers. Tamorrion Terry, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

There are mixed opinions throughout the New York Jets fan base over the team’s prospects in the secondary. Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall could be a solution available to them in the draft on Day Two.

Gang Green’s defensive backfield played well down the stretch in 2019. New York Jets fans knew they wouldn’t have the chance to prioritize the secondary during free agency this spring. Both corner and safety are out of the question in the first round for New York.

Things could get interesting in the second. The truth is, Jets Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams didn’t need stars to get the corners rolling last year. He had solid depth guys like Brian Poole to do the job.

Virginia Cavaliers corner Bryce Hall has an excellent shot at being available when the New York Jets pick at No. 48. He fits the above description to a tee. Hall may not have standout, Pro-Bowl potential. But he has it in him to be a solid corner and legitimate contributor on D.

At Virginia, he didn’t have many opportunities to play aggressively at the line of scrimmage, or in man coverage, for that matter. Their system was rather conservative with their corners and had them give a decent-sized cushion to receivers coming off the line of scrimmage.

This could be both good and bad. The NFL seems to tolerate that, but it’s come under fire recently because that type of pass coverage sometimes contributes to corners getting burned. While it’s a legitimate concern, Hall deserves the benefit of the doubt. He still was tied for the lead in FBS pass breakups in 2018, with 22 despite playing zone all the time.

Hall was one of the best players in Virginia football history. He’s a gamer who produced regardless of the system UVA used. As for him not getting much experience in man, I don’t know that it would matter all that much if the New York Jets want to take him.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gotham ran plenty of zone coverage anyway in 2020. Regardless of how much playing time Hall would get with Gang Green, overall, they don’t have a group of corners that can be successful playing man consistently. Hall’s terrific in zone coverage, so he can find a way to contribute at some point this season if the Jets pull the trigger and draft him.

He’s Gregg Williams’ type of player in that he’s tough. Hall is by no means afraid to contest anything at the point of contact. Hall gave ACC receivers bad evaluations on their contested-catch grades at the Monday morning position meetings. That’s why I think he has the potential to play in press coverage. The former Wahoo has proven he can be physical, defending the pass.

Some downside he’s shown is that he’s an inconsistent tackler. The reason he wasn’t a great tackler in college wasn’t because of a lack of physicality, however. His tackling issues were due to poor technique, not due to a lack of contact. Once he cleans up that issue, Hall will be a starter, which should be his ceiling. That’s not bad.

He’s beloved around the program at UVA, regarded as a strong leader. It was a huge loss to the team when Hall was limited to six games in 2019, after ankle surgery in October.

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That bodes for more uncertainty. Then again, after Jeff Okudah, there’s plenty of risk with the corners of this year’s draft and in many of the second round players, as well.

If the Jets feel as if Hall is their guy, they’re going to roll with him. He’s not a dominant all-around prospect, but he has enough of a skill set to project as someone who can contribute soon, and maybe even be a starter someday. General Manager Joe Douglas has gone with the approach of gathering depth for the secondary in free agency. We’ll see if he does the same in the draft.

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What do you think about the New York Jets taking Bryce Hall in the second round? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.