The Falcons drafted San Diego State’s Darren Hall in the fourth round and got a good hybrid corner/safety to help with scheme versatility. Hall is a high-IQ guy who will be able to make an impact early on special teams and in both nickel and dime packages. He will draw some comparisons to Damontae Kazee because of the school he played at, but he’s better as a corner than at safety.
Athletic Testing and Athletic Comparison
Stats and Awards
2020: 8 Games Played, 38 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 3 Interceptions, 6 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, First-Team All-Mountain West
2019: 12 Games Played, 49 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 2 Fumbles Forced, 2 Fumble Recovered, 16 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, Third-Team All-Mountain West
2018: 12 Games Played, 45 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2017: 2 Games Played, 2 Tackles, Redshirted
Highlights vs. BYU
How does Hall fit on the field?
Darren Hall is a very good football player. He’s not the best athlete, but he’s a plus athlete. And he’s not the strongest player, but he takes down almost anyone who he tries to tackle. He’s a reliable player who can come in and not lose you a game. The Falcons needed someone like that at cornerback after giving so many games away in 2020.
In the passing game, Hall can play man or zone effectively, but succeeds most in an off-man setup. He can act as a man coverage corner during those blitzing downs and will jump the ball. While he may not catch every ball that comes his way, he understands how to knock the ball out of a receiver’s hands. He does his job of preventing big plays.
In the running game, he has solid instincts and can set the edge effectively from the cornerback or slot role. His tackling does need some work for those power running backs, but he still slows guys down for the cavalry to arrive. He’s also exceptional on a blitz. He’s similar to Brian Poole on his blitzes in that he can surprise and get the sack before the QB realizes he’s even blitzing.
How does Hall fit off the field?
Hall was a captain for the San Diego State defense and is generally one of the smartest players on the field. He’s going to be a leader for the Falcons after a few years in a secondary that could use as much leadership as possible. Hall is a gym rat and should be able to develop some more size in the pros to be more impactful in his hits.
Why Darren Hall instead of Chris Rumph or Jabril Cox?
The Falcons felt the need in the secondary outweighed the need in the front seven, and they love their cerebral secondary players. Rumph would have been a good selection to compete for a pass-rushing role. Cox would have been a good fit for a depth role behind Foye Oluokun and Deion Jones, but they felt the need for more corner competition was there.
I really like the Darren Hall pick for Atlanta. Phenomenal athlete. Between him and Richie Grant, the Falcons have nailed their value secondary picks so far in my opinion.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) May 1, 2021
NFL Stylistic Comparison/Best Case Scenario: Mackensie Alexander
While Hall doesn’t scream outside cornerback, the Falcons got someone who should compete early and often for time on the field his competitiveness. He’s got great ball skills and can really get after it in the slot. Mackensie Alexander was a similar player coming out of Clemson, and they are very similar athletically as well.