Prospect Microscope: Meet Virginia Cornerback Bryce Hall

Photo: © Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Hall’s biggest idol is his older brother, Derek, who played offensive tackle at Stanford (2006-2010) and spent some time with the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. Living in Kansas growing up, he wasn’t allowed to play tackle football until third-grade due to a city wide regulation that didn’t allow the youth to participate in tackle prior to that point.

A dual-sport athlete at Bishop McDevitt High School (Pennsylvania), Hall played receiver and was also a member of the basketball team. A first-team all-state selection as a senior (2015), he had an illustrious career as he recorded 2,386 receiving yards on 137 receptions and 35 touchdowns. Originally recruited by then Virginia head coach Mike London (now head coach at William & Mary), Hall was a two-star wideout, but newly hired Bronco Mendenhall wanted to switch him to cornerback despite having never played it consistently before.

The new staff wasted little time getting Hall acclimated - starting 7-of-12 games as a freshman, recording 25 tackles and two interceptions. As a sophomore, he started all 13 games and finishing with 47 tackles and an interception. His breakout season came in 2018, as he once again started all 13 games. The Cavalier defensive back finished his junior campaign with a FBS-leading 22 pass breakups with 62 tackles and two interceptions.

Hall is widely known in the Charlottesville area because of his community service. He’s a volunteer teacher of reading and writing skills at many surrounding elementary schools. On May 29 (2019), Hall’s off the field resume and academic accomplishments were honored as he was rewarded with the T. Rodney Crowley, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which is given to a rising fourth-year student who exemplifies “leadership, sportsmanship, character, and integrity”.

Where He Wins (+)

There isn’t a play that Hall feels as if he can’t have an impact on. Experience in man-to-man and zone coverage allows him to get a feel for operation in a multitude of environments. Primarily playing from an off position due to scheme, he always trusts his first instinct and what he sees. Tied for the lead in pass breakups (22) in the country is a prime example of he’s able to consistently make plays to effect the flight path of the ball.

There isn’t a bad word uttered about Hall throughout the program and he’s been labeled as the face of the program since being named a starter as a true freshman. High academic prospect and the leader of many organizations on campus. Team captain and represents the program with the utmost importance. Heavily active in the community and is on record as being heavily involved with many community service projects in the surrounding Charlottesville community.

Measured at 6-foot-1, but his on field traits help him look much bigger than that. Plays as if he’s a couple of inches taller and his ability to affect throwing windows are as such. Body structure enables him to be agitating to wideouts and he consistently is able to cancel out throwing windows when able to decipher them while in coverage.

Where He Needs to Improve (-)

Being a gambler is a large part to his game. More often times than not, he has been correct when driving down on the ball to garner deflections or interceptions. Hall plays on his toes quite and bit and that’s because it gives him the ability to move quickly whenever he’s able to process and anticipate intended routes. 

Because of Virginia’s scheme, Hall wasn’t allowed to show much of what he could do when challenging matchups at the line of scrimmage. The defense forced its perimeter defenders to mostly play 5-8 yards away ever snap. When threatening his cushion or stepping on his toes quickly, there was a sense of panic with Hall. When trying to get his hands on, he often missed target areas or failed to sink with no immediate underneath threat.

There still remains large questions as to whether or not he can operate in a press man scheme due to a lack of reps at doing so and how well his hips operate at the line. Involved in a heavy zone scheme allowed evaluators to get a good gauge on how well he operates in that area, but limited reps in other schemes, but flashes of success raise intrigue as to if he can make the conversion.

Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Jordan Reid is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Gaining experience from various lenses of the game, he has previously served as a college quarterback, position coach, and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He now serves as a Color Commentator for FloSports, covering both high school and college football games around the country while also being the host of The Reid Option Podcast.