NY Jets’ rookie cornerback Bryce Hall is impressing early in his NFL career.
It is no secret that the NY Jets defense is in desperate need of an overhaul. The once-great unit now finds itself in the bottom-10 in points allowed per game (25th) and passing yards allowed per game (28th).
With former pillars like Jamal Adams and Leonard Williams now thriving for other franchises, New York’s defensive depth chart is riddled with names unknown to most football fans.
However, in the midst of the rebuilding season, a potential diamond in the rough is beginning to emerge — cornerback Bryce Hall.
The 2020 fifth-round draft selection is quickly establishing himself as a starting-caliber defensive back. Here’s are three indicators that suggest that he could become a future No. 1 cornerback.
The NY Jets’ need at cornerback
It has been a half-decade since All-Pro Darrelle Revis suited up in white and green. However, the mention of his name immediately summons fond memories of Revis Island and game-changing defensive plays.
Fans of Gang Green remember the luxury of having a legitimate shutdown cornerback in the lineup on a regular basis. Revis’ presence on the field allowed the pass defense, pass rush, and overall defense to thrive.
In a modern NFL where the passing game has reached record heights, having this type of cornerback is one of the most valuable commodities that a franchise can possess. ‘
Unfortunately for the Jets, the team has been devoid of this type of playmaker since Revis’ departure and eventual retirement. However, the emergence of Hall gives the team its first real chance at another top cornerback.
While it remains to be seen whether the first-year player can match Revis’ Hall of Fame level career, there are very encouraging signs of future success.
Bryce Hall’s Pedigree
Hall held the distinction of entering his senior season in college as Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded cornerback in the nation. This led to him being considered as a serious contender to be selected in the first round.
An ankle injury during his senior season at Virginia, combined with questions about his versatility, caused him to drop to the third day. However, over the course of his first taste of NFL action, Hall has shown glimpses of his top form.
Bryce Hall’s Production
Entering Week 17 of the regular season, Hall has recorded a 64.5 PFF grade which ranks around average at his position. For the sake of context, other notable AFC East corner rank as follows for 2020:
- Xavien Howard: 88.3 (leads the NFL)
- Tre’Davious White: 74.5
- Stephon Gilmore: 61.0
- Byron Jones: 59.5
Despite playing in a division full of Pro Bowl and All-Pro cornerbacks, Hall has managed to achieve a grade that fits amongst this top level of competition.
It would be foolish to assume that Hall can live up to the sky-high standards of a legend like Darrelle Revis. However, it would also be unwise to write him off as a fledgling fifth-round pick.
If he is able to continue to develop as he becomes more comfortable with the speed and physicality of the NFL, the Virginia star could very well establish himself as a true No. 1 cornerback.
The Jets should be thrilled to have a player with the potential to contain an increasing number of star wide receivers that the Jets will continue to face on a weekly basis.