2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Breece Hallby Mason Thompson March 23, 2022 1 comment
The 2022 running back class is featured by three big names. The most notable could be Iowa State’s, Breece Hall. The Iowa State running back was a four-star recruit out of Wichita, Kansas, and quickly made a name for himself on the Cyclones. Hall carried a heavy workload in each of his three seasons at Iowa State, including his freshman year, where he totaled 209 touches for over 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns. In his sophomore season, he finished sixth in the Heisman voting as he had over 300 touches for almost 1,700 yards and 23 touchdowns. Yet again, in 2021, Hall cruised to a tenth-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting and finished with career-highs in yards per attempt, receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage.
The Iowa State running back is currently the favorite to be the first running back off the board in April’s draft and could be a first-round pick if a team shocks the world by taking a running back in the first round in this deep class. While there isn’t any true weakness to Hall’s game, many have said that he has too much tread on his tires to be taken so high in the NFL Draft. In comparison, the other top two backs in the class, Hall has almost 200 more touches than Isaiah Spiller and almost 300 more than Kenneth Walker throughout their collegiate careers. While this may be a bit overblown, it could cause some teams to take one of the other backs over Hall, as seen by Jonathan Taylor’s fall in the 2020 draft.
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Name: Breece Hall
Jersey: No. 28
Position: Running Back
School: Iowa State
Weight: 217 lbs
Games Watched: Baylor (2021), Texas (2021), Oklahoma State (2021), Iowa (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Hall is a very patient runner. Iowa State usually deployed a spread offense, which had 2×2 sets for the receivers, making it easier to run against a smaller defensive box. Even so, Hall could find the open lanes with ease. He is the definition of a one-cut and go back, and there were plenty of times where the Cyclone running back would carve out a big gain by starting to his right and then abruptly cutting back to the left and ripping off a long run. Hall’s vision is the best part of his scouting report, and a team with a zone-run system and a need for a workhorse running back should welcome him with open arms.
Contact Balance (8.25/10)
Hall is a bit hit or miss here. There are times when he gets tackled by one defender in the open field by an ankle grab, but other times, he can truck through defenders and get out of their grasps on the way to a long run. While Hall does have some power, he’s not a player that consistently breaks tackles.
Hall is quite explosive in the open field. When he has a lane he sees, Hall can ramp up to his second gear and race through the open field for a big gain. Unfortunately, there are also instances where his explosiveness seems to disappear, most likely from him being tired from carrying the ball several times in a row without coming off the field. Hall’s explosiveness isn’t a concern.
Long Speed (8.75/10)
Hall ran an official 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, and it shows up on tape. There are plenty of times where Hall can outrun the second level and pass safeties on his way to the endzone. There was a run against Baylor where he outraced the defense on his way to a long run. If Hall gets good blocking, watch out.
Short-Area Burst (9.25/10)
When Hall sees an open lane, goodbye, he’s already off to the races. He seemingly skips a gear when he has a lane to run through and can turn on the jets immediately. Even when he’s caught behind the line of scrimmage, Hall is slippery and can make defenders miss with a cut and fly in the opposite direction on his way to a big gain. He’s not necessarily a short-yardage back, but if a team needs a few yards and can open a lane quickly, it’s going to be a first down with Hall in the backfield.
Change of Direction (9/10)
Hall is nifty here. He can wait for a lane to open, and when he sees one, boom, he cuts and is already seven yards downfield. Hall can quickly bounce runs to the outside and get out into the boundary and run down the field in an instant. Thanks to this, the Iowa State running back had multiple runs of over 30 yards in the games watched, and some were during runs where it looked as if he would be tackled for a loss. He’s a game-changer in this regard.
As pointed out already, Hall has some power to his skill set, but it certainly won’t wow you. There are times when it comes out of nowhere, and he brushes off tackles, but it is also concerning when he’s tackled when he has that lone man to beat. Hall is inconsistent here, but if he establishes more in this regard, he may be one of the most complete backs in the league.
Ball Security (7/10)
Hall had some ball security concerns as the 2021 season wore on. That includes costly fumbles in tight games against West Virginia and Iowa. While there were only two during the 2021 season, they came at inopportune times during close games, where turnovers mean everything. Hall needs to clean this up more than anything else.
Receiving Skills (8.25/10)
Hall’s receiving concerns are a bit overblown. While he doesn’t have the receiving skills as backs like Austin Ekeler or David Johnson during his prime, Hall is certainly no slouch here. He had his best receiving production at Iowa State this past season, including three touchdowns. He was the safety net for Brock Purdy, and while there were a few drops from Hall, they were when he wasn’t ready for the ball to come to him.
While Kyren Williams is far and away the best blocking running back in the class, Hall is also very good in this regard. There were multiple times where he would at least try to chip incoming blitzes or even take them head-on. While he did get blown up when he did take them head-on, it saved Purdy for a few more seconds from being sacked. This shouldn’t be an issue at the next level.
There is no question that Hall is one of the top running backs in the 2022 draft class. With that said, it is unknown how high he will truly go. No team outside of the Miami Dolphins will select a running back in the first round most likely. Even then, Miami signed two free agents to compete in their running back room. In the second round, teams like the Texans, Falcons, Dolphins, Bills, or Chiefs could take the standout running back.
Despite where he gets selected, the team that does take him will have a three-down back that has a fantastic skillset and can produce in all areas of the field. Hall is best in a zone running scheme where he can cut and go, but that also needs to involve an offensive line that is good enough to let that happen. He is certainly one of the most decorated backs to come out in recent memory.
Rookie Projection: Committee Running Back
Third Year Projection: All-Pro Running Back
Final Grade (84.25/100): Early Second Round
Player Comp: J.K. Dobbins