Name: P.J. Hall
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Sam Houston State
Stats from Sam Houston State Football
Once upon a time, as seen in the above video, Hall was a svelte 280-pound defensive end. However, in 2017, he packed on an additional 30 pounds and moved to nose tackle. He did well in that role, making himself an NFL prospect by dominating on the interior. He still has the athleticism of his old weight; he is just harder to move now. While perhaps a bit short for an NFL nose tackle, he has the leg drive and power to make up for a relative lack of length. Speaking of which…
There was a clear gap in talent between Hall and the linemen he went up against in FCS play. He was far too strong to be playing against that competition week in and week out, bullying opposing centers and guards with a quick burst and tremendous drive. More often than not, Hall’s opponents were stood up by the initial hit and just like that, it was over. He could discard and find the ball carrier or drive them back into the quarterback’s lap.
Hall played mostly end from 2014 to 2016 before adding weight and bumping inside this past season. As such, he has a good burst off the line and solid pass rushing technique. He does not bring a ton of moves to the table, generally relying on speed and strength to win his battles. Playing in the FCS, Hall was always bigger, faster and stronger than anyone he went up against, hence the high sack numbers over his career. That will not be the case at the next level, but Hall’s level of dominance indicates his physical traits alone should translate. If he adds a little more to repertoire, he could be a sleeping giant in this draft.
Hall was all over the field in college. He can range all along the line to make tackles, sink low to rush the passer on the edge and leap to bat passes. But perhaps the greatest indication of Hall’s athletic ability is the number of blocked kicks. 14 blocks in four seasons is other-worldly.
Hall is a playmaker in every way. His college production was unreal, albeit against lesser talent. The Vikings are slowly losing depth at defensive tackle, particularly at 3-technique. Hall’s quickness and size indicate that he could fill that role well. That is not to say he would be a day-one starter. He obviously would need some time to adjust to the dramatic uptick in power and game speed at the NFL level. But as far as FCS defensive tackle prospects go, there is not a player in this draft with more potential than Hall.
There is, understandably, an aversion to drafting small school offensive and defensive linemen. However, there are numerous examples of players from no-name schools sticking in the NFL, even become stars. Recently, Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison earned All-Pro last year after going undrafted out of NAIA William Penn in 2012.
That is not to say Hall will be an All-Pro one day, but as a late day-three pick, he has tremendous upside, even without the major conference pedigree.