Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by reamer, Mar 12, 2019.
Big fan of Hall. Think he has what it takes to be a + rr.
Completely agree. I'll dig into it later this week when I have more free time, but he has every tool to be a top tier route runner. I love this slant against Florida, so this seemed like a good time to create a gif of the play. For a taller player, Hall doesn't look limited or linear:
He chops his feet, keeps his hands drumming, and gives a subtle head/hip fake to the outside. The corner takes a false step to defend against the fade, and it's just over.
Also, I think the Patriots prize downfield explosion more than people realize. We know all about the short shuttle and 3-cone times, and they've popularized slot receivers in the modern NFL, but when they draft early or trade for a WR, they've taken speed threats who can challenge a defense deep (Jackson, Johnson, Moss, Cooks, etc). Hall was the best deep threat specialist in college football for the past two years, but he's not just fast, as the clip above shows.
Another fast guy I really like, Terry McLaurin, plays special teams and gets open. He's a ready made Z. Oh, and look at his first two comps in terms of testing: Terry McLaurin - MockDraftable
Mclaurin in the 3rd round would be one of my favorite picks. Can lead the special teams and be WR3
Still pending agility drills, but I'm not too worried based on what I've seen on film. He'll make his money on deep shots and comebacks, but he's also a breakaway threat on slants. He demands attention from a defense. In terms of jumps, top end speed, and 10 yard split, he looks like a clear match for what the Patriots look for in a downfield threat.
@ChrisR2223 I know you love receivers, so here's some light reading for ya.
I read a recent criticism of Hall that said he should get more separation with his speed. I don't think that's valid, but I'll use an example of a contested pass to show what I like so much about Hall and how he adjusts downfield. Notice the details here, because he understands some nuances of playing receiver, despite the knock that he's just a straight line guy (for example, he joked at the Combine that his favorite play call is simply a go, but if you listen to his interviews, he comes across as an extremely articulate, thoughtful player).
First, even though he beats the corner, he sees that the ball is underthrown (despite the narrative that Lock has a huge arm, he underthrew Hall a fair bit), so Hall alters his path to cut off the angle; he slows down to track the ball, but his strides are still longer than the corner's, who is racing full speed to catch up to a decelerating Hall, who could dust him if he turned on the jets again. He glides like Moss, even if he didn't test as fast. Next, at about the 25 yard line, Hall jabs out with his hand to maintain distance. Important to note -- the entire time he's looking up (not back), but continues to fend off the corner. As the ball comes close, he brings his arms up and uses his elbow to push the defender's arm down, then snags the ball before the corner can disrupt him further.
How's this separation? They didn't connect, but he made the safety look like he was running in molasses. That's Tyreek Hill sort of dangerous speed.
Or how about this one? Again the safety busted the coverage, but regardless, neither player can keep up with Hall physically.
Last play from this game against Georgia in 2017. Their attempts to double Hall, or at least have a safety shaded to his side of the field, didn't really matter. I'm starting to feel bad for their secondary, but this should give you an idea of how dangerous Hall is down the field. He beats the corner and the angle of the safety for a 60+ yard score. That's a weapon outside.
Another slant. This time it's not a 3-step slant like the one I posted earlier in this thread, but it should show you much corners respect his speed. Hall gets up on the defender's toes, and the corner panics, giving a free inside release for Hall to pick up the easiest first down of his life. His instant separation on slants reminds me a little of Gordon or OBJ, although he's a different style player.
I should also note that over the next few plays, Hall runs hitches or comeback routes and shows the ability to sharply snap off the route at the stem -- the corner was already spooked by this point, however, so he's playing the deep ball and giving up the easy stuff underneath. I may have to continue this in another post since I'm limited in the amount of media I can embed per post (only 5 links; the RAS card is an upload).
Stay tuned . . .
I stitched together several plays for this next clip, so keep watching. I left in the quick blocking play, even though it's not particularly relevant to this discussion. He's not a big blocker, but he'll at least get in the way of the defender. I wouldn't mind seeing more dog in him though.
First route: the ball doesn't come his way, but notice how much respect the corner gives him vertically. By the time Hall chops his feet and comes back, the corner has is sprinting downfield and gives up 5+ yards of separation.
Second route: quick feet at the LoS, but what I appreciate is the way he drums his hands, letting him stay balanced and aggressive. A lot of receivers are sloppy with their arms. When Hall digs his feet into the ground to run horizontally toward the quarterback and set up his blocker, he makes a sharp, 90 degree turn with his entire body; no wasted movement, no gathering himself, just clean, explosive movement. His ability to stick his foot in the ground and make the first defender miss also shows off his suddenness (which is why I'm not worried about his SS or 3-cone, even if they're below average at pro day). He's not a physical or super shifty YAC guy, but he can absolutely make the first defender miss and then turn on the speed.
Third route: he stumbles a bit, but what I think is so fascinating about this route is that the corner bails into a speed turn and starts to run frantically. This is how you know a receiver isn't just generically fast, but has special downfield speed: defenders are terrified of getting beat. Despite Hall's stumble, he still creates a ton of room for the quarterback to hit him on the slant and pick up a quick first down.
More to come later. I need to get back to work.
I think it's also interesting that Wes Welker, undisputably (in my personal opinion) the shiftiest slot receiver of all time, had a 7.09 3-cone, which is pretty pedestrian for WRs in general but disappointing for a guy that's 5'8" and you're expecting something to make up for it.
PS - I like Hall though. Seems like a pretty smooth downfield receiver. I'm a little fearful that he's the next AJ Jenkins, but I would say it's a good risk in the middle rounds.
I'll respond at length when I'm at my computer, but there are at least two mitigating factors for Welker: 1) he also had a short shuttle in the 92nd percentile, so agility drills did show his potential, and 2) he was a proven NFL talent before NE traded for him. Remember, he went undrafted.
Jenkins was a possession receiver with speed (13 or 14 ypc his college career). Hall put up back to back 20+ ypc seasons and led all draft eligible players in yards per route run. Not really comparable -- just because SF overdrafted him doesn't factor into my grades or recommendations.
Finally some proof for something that's been nagging at me for a while. I think we overrate the agility drills and don't account for size enough. One of the things I noticed when looking over numbers was that smaller receivers need quickness, but bigger receivers need more explosiveness. That correlates to how we've drafted. Hayden Winks has some great information on the correlation of testing results to actual performance. Recommended reading.
I'm a big fan of the 10-yard split for just about any position.
Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse, but this goes back to what I was saying about being good at something (in terms of being a good athlete, re: Hockenson). You need a method of reliably beating coverage, whether it is short area quickness, linear acceleration, jumping, or strength and contested catch ability. You don't need all of those at once. But if you're just decent in all aspects without a standout trait, you have limited potential.
In terms of tall guys that have short area quickness as their specialty, that tends to tell me two things:
- they will never be as quick in the short area as a shorter guy. it's a specialization that they simply have limited potential with, due to their size limitations. p = m v.
- their height may be a 'cheat' measurement. maybe they have long necks, long torso, and short legs. so, they have decent agility drills, but they have the legs of a guy that's 5'10", so should that really be surprising?
I also have a random observation that I'd like to reinvestigate at some point. Two of the most impressive agility drill guys from the past two years: Dylan Cantrell last year and Miles Boykin this year. Both of them had atrociously bad feet when they ran routes at the combine. They looked very flat footed.
1. I wonder if this is a muscular weakness in the lower body (that can be corrected) or if it's something biomechanical about their body.
2. I wonder if flat footedness somehow helps one get a faster agility drill time. I'd imagine it might help if you can take less steps to round the corner and change direction. In the real world, this is bad for a number of reasons. When you don't take multiple steps to 'break down', you increase injury risk by shifting load to non-muscle (knee ligaments, etc), and you can be easier for the opponent to read (one slow plant leg is easy for a DB to read, if you're running routes).
With the 3-cone drill, a 90 degree turn is very biomechanically awkward to take at full speed. That essentially never happens in football. How has no one else mentioned this? We prop up the 3-cone like it's the most realistic drill... So anyways, a 90 degree turn at full speed seems like something a flat footed person could do better because their plant foot has more contact with the ground and therefore is able to transmit more force more easily (leading to faster cornering).
I was tracking with your first couple of paragraphs.
As a former professional acrobat/performer and gym owner, however, I can't agree at all with the rest re: biomechanics and agility times. Fewer steps is almost never bad in football or other athletics. It's actually one of the odder takes I've come across; players like Edelman get open all the time with a single leg plant, for example. Watch a well run whip route or a pivot route. While sure, you can sometimes overload the ligaments -- look at Edelman's non-contact ACL -- most of the time athletes have multiple ways to absorb impact and redirect. My entire career was built on those skills, in fact!
I'm not sure you understand what flat-footed means, or how change of direction works?
In addition, plenty of big men have run fast in the 3-cone. Look at JJ Watt's time of 6.88 as a 6'5+ 290 lb player, or Julio Jones: 6.66 at 6'3 220 with a 4.3 40. It's not as simple as p=mv. I'm not really sure where you're going with this. Plenty of outliers exist, positively and negatively, so it's not really concerning when a few people fail at a test, or surpass benchmarks and don't show good success on the field. Correlation of these stats and metrics just helps to weed out higher risk prospect; it doesn't guarantee success.
I can't think of a clear way to say it. Yes, fewer steps can be a good thing if you're explosive. However, if you take fewer steps and spend a long time on a plant leg, that's bad. With the 3-cone, rounding a 90 degree corner at full speed, you might get a good time even if you spend a long time on a single plant leg. On the other hand, if you round the corner in an explosive way, you still get a good time, but you won't have the downsides that I mentioned earlier. I'm just proposing a reason for the false positives.
I also like to watch the 40 yard dash because it tells me about a guy's stride type, which has pros and cons. I don't have that broken down to a science though, so it'd be hard to explain off the cuff.
That's pretty much the opposite of the 3-cone though. The 3-cone is cutting 90 degrees at full speed. The pivot is cutting 180 degrees at half speed.
Another consideration is the distance between the break point of the 3-cone and the end point. It's like 3-5 yards, right? For a guy like Metcalf, that's probably one to two strides. For another guy, that might be three or four strides. A guy with longer legs is going to be seriously disadvantaged in this leg of the 3-cone and for really no reason.
Not only do you almost never make a 90 degree turn at full speed in football, but once you've made that move, you also are never going to suddenly break down and turn the other direction. If you're comparing this to an out route that a WR runs, he's going to get hit with the pull and turn upfield. He's not going to stop and run the opposite direction.
The only other movement in football where you might run close to full speed and turn approximately 90 degrees is an outside pass rush, but this movement differs from how the 3-cone works because pass rushers are leaning into the OL and rounding the edge. They don't run sharp corners, and they don't do it against air.
That slant and footwork was almost Chad Jackson or Ochocoinco like...
I've been pretty busy lately and I probably won't be able to finish this series. I may still drop in a few tweets or gifs that interest me. We'll see.
I'm amazed with the amount of stats they have. The NFL is one thing, but there are only 16 games per week. With college football, you have like 120, 130 schools just in D1A or whatever it's called now.
reamer you doing a profile on a guy like Emanuel Hall shows how deep this Draft is at WR. So lets say a Team like our Patriots double dips and hits on one or both they could be set at WR for years to come. That said I'm hoping we triple dip at the position just to make sure.
The first 7 names are all fairly big dudes too...Deebo Samuel is the next name, though I wouldn't consider him a real small dude either...should I being to warm to the idea of Samuel at 32 if all of the others whom we really want there are gone?
I sure hope AJ Brown is available if we want to grab a receiver at 32. Dude has beast written all over him.
He's a good player. While he's not my first choice, it all depends on how the board goes. I wouldn't be opposed, though I'd probably prefer a small trade back (drop 10 slots or something) and then try to push some draft capital into next year. Samuel would be fun to watch here.
This is my dream scenario lately if impact defensive players and the three TEs are all gone.
Separate names with a comma.