Untapped Potential: Raiders DT Hall Needs Strong Season

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Oakland Raiders DT PJ Hall

Following a season where the Raiders allowed four times the sacks their defense recorded (52-13), the Raiders are looking for answers. Taking defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft certainly helps, but it remains unknown if Ferrell will attract as much attention as Khalil Mack did. If he does, PJ Hall is primed for a massive bump in numbers, provided his minutes do not decrease. If not, Hall will still see his stats rise significantly.

Perimeter Threat

An elite talent like Ferrell joining Hall on the defensive line will certainly help Hall. As a top-5 draft pick, teams will prepare for Ferrell. However, with Hall not recording a sack in his rookie year, he will not receive attention (that is, until he starts slipping through single blockers and blowing up the quarterback).

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Upside

In 2018, PJ Hall arrived in the second round out of Sam Houston State, an FCS school. Hall’s training camp hinted that potential led to his drafting. Throughout the season, the Raiders began to see how high Hall could fly.

As a rookie, it took Hall about half the season to find his groove. However, when he did, it stunned many. Hall certainly left his mark on the second half of the season. From Week 10, Hall carved 8 solo tackles and 11 quarterback pressures to close out the season. Hall is quick and slippery yet still incredibly powerful. In addition, he offers a wide array of moves

Little Production

While it would have been promising for Hall to record a sack in 2018, sacks were incredibly hard to come by for the entire team. It is impressive, in its own sense, how Hall tallied 11 quarterback pressures in the second half of the season, but did not get to the quarterback quick enough to acquire his first career sack.

Hall’s first career sack is coming, as are many more. Expect Hall to regard his sackless rookie season as motivation instead of an inhibitor to grow.  He still has an incredible amount of room to grow, something that will soon haunt opposing offensive lines.

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