Has Leon Hall been decked?

There had to be more than a few raised eyebrows at my odds listing Michigan cornerback Leon Hall's chances of landing with the Steelers at 12-1 and USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett at … well, off the board.

Wex's Draft Series
  • Adam Carriker
  • Jarvis Moss
  • Anthony Spencer
  • The Odds
  • Yes, Jarrett beat Hall for a 62-yard touchdown pass in the second half of the Rose Bowl. Note that it was the second half … when Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was suffering with a brain cramp.

    See, Jarrett has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage. Chris Houston showed the nation that in the NCAA opener between Arkansas and USC. Keyshawn Johnson was moved after that game to compare Jarrett to former first-round bust Mike Williams, and it's been supported by scouts since then.

    Michigan knew it and pressed Jarrett in the first half of the Rose Bowl, but Carr changed tactics in the second half and Jarrett turned a 3-3 game into a rout.

    He beat Hall once, and that play came on the heels of Ted Ginn beating Hall deep in the Big 10 title game.

    "I definitely had those two bad reps," Hall said at the combine. "That one against Ted Ginn was a mental mistake on my part and then the one against Dwayne Jarrett was an alignment issue."

    A reporter stepped in to apologize for Hall. He said/asked Hall, "But a lot of DBs have been beaten by those receivers."

    However, that wasn't the point. The point was that Hall, in his last two games, was beaten deep by college receivers, and here he was at the combine, on the eve of his workout in front of NFL scouts, wondering how far his stock was falling.

    Was he worried? Was there more pressure on his workout? Hall grinned a confident grin before answering.

    "I think I've made drastic improvements" he said. "I guess I'll show that on Tuesday. We're going to have to wait and see."

    And on Tuesday, Hall delivered as promised. His 4.39 40 has been since re-set officially at 4.41, but the 5-11¼, 193-pounder lapped the field in the short shuttle and 3-cone drills.

    At 4.07 and 4.09, Hall was the only cornerback timed under 4.1 in the short shuttle, and at 6.5 and 6.52, he was the only defensive back under 6.6 in the 3-cone. Hall's 10-yard time of 1.49 and 20-yard time of 2.54 are labeled as "unofficial," but both stand first among all cornerbacks. He also had a vertical jump of 37½ and a broad jump of 10-5.

    It may not mean all that much, but it may mean everything since it showed that at least Hall put in some serious training after those two sub-par plays.

    Yes, cornerbacks can earn a rep and lose millions by a couple of high-profile plays, but Hall appears on tape to have the size, speed, fluidity and run-stopping ability of a first-round cornerback.

    According to the Detroit Free Press, Carr called Hall the most technically sound cornerback he has ever coached, and he has coached Marlin Jackson and Ty Law, to name a few.

    Hall is fourth on Michigan's career interception list with 12 and is the all-time leader in pass break-ups with 43.

    Draft expert Mike Mayock said that Hall has "got a good burst, tremendous change of direction. The question has been his recovery speed and his long speed."

    That question cropped up because of the two plays, and they just might be the albatross that causes Hall to fall to pick No. 15.

    But would the Steelers bite? The scuttlebutt around the South Side water cooler is that cornerback is a consideration, but only if a quality front-seven player isn't available and said cornerback carries great value.

    As recent free-agent activity has proven the last few years, even mediocre corners carry great value. Nate Clements, the only blue-chip corner on the market this month, hauled in a record $80 million contract with a $22 million bonus.

    Deshea Townsend, headed for backup duty last season, picked up $3 million in guaranteed money from the Steelers at the age of 31. Ike Taylor, after only one season as a starter, re-signed with the frugal Steelers and pocketed $6.5 million in bonus money.

    Those two players, along with third-year man Bryant McFadden (and injured fourth CB Ricardo Colclough), are the reasons most fans believe it unwise for the Steelers to draft a player such as Hall in the first round. But starters Taylor and McFadden have only eight interceptions in 61 career games, Townsend is slowing, and Colclough's a question mark. And then there's the simple value the NFL places on cornerbacks. For that reason alone, it'd be difficult to pass on a player with such a pedigree – two bad plays or not.


    Steel City Insider Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n Wex's Draft Series
    \r\n
  • Adam Carriker
  • \r\n
  • Jarvis Moss
  • \r\n
  • Anthony Spencer
  • \r\n
  • The Odds
  • \r\n\r\nYes, Jarrett beat Hall for a 62-yard touchdown pass in the second half of the Rose Bowl. Note that it was the second half … when Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was suffering with a brain cramp. \r\n\r\n

    See, Jarrett has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage. Chris Houston showed the nation that in the NCAA opener between Arkansas and USC. Keyshawn Johnson was moved after that game to compare Jarrett to former first-round bust Mike Williams, and it's been supported by scouts since then. \r\n\r\n

    Michigan knew it and pressed Jarrett in the first half of the Rose Bowl, but Carr changed tactics in the second half and Jarrett turned a 3-3 game into a rout. \r\n\r\n

    He beat Hall once, and that play came on the heels of Ted Ginn beating Hall deep in the Big 10 title game. \r\n\r\n

    \"I definitely had those two bad reps,\" Hall said at the combine. \"That one against Ted Ginn was a mental mistake on my part and then the one against Dwayne Jarrett was an alignment issue.\"\r\n\r\n

    A reporter stepped in to apologize for Hall. He said/asked Hall, \"But a lot of DBs have been beaten by those receivers.\" \r\n\r\n

    However, that wasn't the point. The point was that Hall, in his last two games, was beaten deep by college receivers, and here he was at the combine, on the eve of his workout in front of NFL scouts, wondering how far his stock was falling. \r\n\r\n

    Was he worried? Was there more pressure on his workout? Hall grinned a confident grin before answering.\r\n\r\n

    \"I think I've made drastic improvements\" he said. \"I guess I'll show that on Tuesday. We're going to have to wait and see.\"\r\n

    And on Tuesday, Hall delivered as promised. His 4.39 40 has been since re-set officially at 4.41, but the 5-11¼, 193-pounder lapped the field in the short shuttle and 3-cone drills. \r\n

    At 4.07 and 4.09, Hall was the only cornerback timed under 4.1 in the short shuttle, and at 6.5 and 6.52, he was the only defensive back under 6.6 in the 3-cone. Hall's 10-yard time of 1.49 and 20-yard time of 2.54 are labeled as \"unofficial,\" but both stand first among all cornerbacks. He also had a vertical jump of 37½ and a broad jump of 10-5.\r\n

    It may not mean all that much, but it may mean everything since it showed that at least Hall put in some serious training after those two sub-par plays.\r\n

    Yes, cornerbacks can earn a rep and lose millions by a couple of high-profile plays, but Hall appears on tape to have the size, speed, fluidity and run-stopping ability of a first-round cornerback. \r\n

    According to the Detroit Free Press, Carr called Hall the most technically sound cornerback he has ever coached, and he has coached Marlin Jackson and Ty Law, to name a few.

    Hall is fourth on Michigan's career interception list with 12 and is the all-time leader in pass break-ups with 43. \r\n

    Draft expert Mike Mayock said that Hall has \"got a good burst, tremendous change of direction. The question has been his recovery speed and his long speed.\"\r\n

    That question cropped up because of the two plays, and they just might be the albatross that causes Hall to fall to pick No. 15.\r\n

    But would the Steelers bite? The scuttlebutt around the South Side water cooler is that cornerback is a consideration, but only if a quality front-seven player isn't available and said cornerback carries great value.\r\n

    As recent free-agent activity has proven the last few years, even mediocre corners carry great value. Nate Clements, the only blue-chip corner on the market this month, hauled in a record $80 million contract with a $22 million bonus. \r\n

    Deshea Townsend, headed for backup duty last season, picked up $3 million in guaranteed money from the Steelers at the age of 31. Ike Taylor, after only one season as a starter, re-signed with the frugal Steelers and pocketed $6.5 million in bonus money.\r\n

    Those two players, along with third-year man Bryant McFadden (and injured fourth CB Ricardo Colclough), are the reasons most fans believe it unwise for the Steelers to draft a player such as Hall in the first round. But starters Taylor and McFadden have only eight interceptions in 61 career games, Townsend is slowing, and Colclough's a question mark. And then there's the simple value the NFL places on cornerbacks. For that reason alone, it'd be difficult to pass on a player with such a pedigree – two bad plays or not.\r\n \r\n","skipOnMobile":true,"skipOnMobileReason":"UnsupportedHtmlTable","unsupportedMarkup":"LackingResponsiveTableClass","media":[],"dateOverride":"2007-03-11T19:18:00","authorOverride":"Jim Wexell","role":"SteelCityInsider.com","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:409219]","mainImage":{"url":"[MEDIA:409219]"},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:409219]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[{"id":"9875","name":"Michigan - Football"},{"id":"416","name":"Michigan"},{"id":"182","name":"Pittsburgh 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