Emanuel Hall broke out in his junior season for Missouri. He had 33 receptions for 817 yards and eight touchdowns. Hall was catching passes from soon-to-be potential first-round quarterback Drew Lock. He entered his senior season as a burner, but the truth is, he proved he is so much more than that. He deserves to be labeled as an exceptional all-around receiver, not just a fast runner.
The Truth About Emanuel Hall
Hall was a three-star prospect out of Tennessee. He was not ranked as a top 800 player in his recruiting class. It was clear though that a ton of high profile teams saw the potential in Hall. He received offers from teams in the SEC, ACC, and Big 12; most notably Ole Miss, Louisville, and Iowa State. There was also interest from some of the top SEC teams such as Florida, Auburn, Tennesse, and Clemson. None of those teams offered him a scholarship.
Missouri may have been the best place for him to develop though. Of the schools mentioned, he may have had the best overall situation. Ole Miss had a packed wide receiver room with D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and Damarkus Lodge. Neither Louisville or Iowa State had a very good quarterback. Florida has had a quarterback carousel the past few years. Auburn’s offense may have been a good fit, but Jarrett Stidham‘s arm may not have been able to keep up with the speed of Hall. Tennessee has had a young quarterback in Jarrett Guarantano. No denying Hall and Trevor Lawrence would have been superb together, but Hall may not have gotten the snaps as a freshman to help him develop into who he was as a senior.
Playing at Missouri allowed him to develop with quarterback Drew Lock, as well as having tight end Albert Okwuegbunam to take some pressure off of him in the passing game.
To this point, I have scouted 19 wide receivers, which should cover most of the day one and day two picks. Hall has graded out as my best route runner thus far. The gap between Hall and the second best route runner, which is Metcalf, is bigger than the gap between Metcalf and third, which is Deebo Samuel. He does an unbelievable job of pressing the defender before releasing with his exceptional speed, creating instant space. Hall constantly makes defenders uncomfortable in coverage, and it makes it near impossible to cover his route running ability and his speed without double coverage.
It goes without saying that his abilities with the ball in his hands are very good considering his blazing speed. He ran a 4.39 40 yard dash. The speed isn’t necessarily long speed though, as both his vertical and broad jump were exceptional, ranking among the best of wide receivers at the combine. His 10-yard split was also relatively good, coming in at 1.54. Hall has the speed to be considered a burner, but there has been a misconception building that he is nothing but speed, which is incredibly incorrect.
As mentioned, his route running grades out as the best in the class thus far for me. He also doesn’t have any single category that is considered ‘below average’. He is very well rounded, and it is important to remember that the NFL loves speed, especially with the ascension of Kansas City’s offense last season.
Overall, Hall graded out as my third best receiver, only behind Metcalf and Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler. The upside to that spot in my grading system though is Metcalf and Butler are very different receivers. Teams in the NFL are not just looking at receivers, but looking at the style that can compliment their offense. Metcalf and Butler are tall, heavy, athletic receivers that can win jump balls and contested plays. Hal, on the other hand, is a different type of athletic freak. He is very fast and incredibly explosive, but he is smaller and will be categorized into a group that would likely contain the likes of Antoine Wesley, Kelvin Harmon, and Deebo Samuel.
Hall is very versatile, and even though his route running ability on the outside in incredible, he should transition to the NFL nicely. If a team needs him to run snaps out of the slot, he will be capable. His abilities would be limited out of the slot, but his route running and speed would allow him to succeed.
He may not have the most stat filled rookie season, but he should develop into a very good receiver. Adjusting to NFL speed and defensive backs may impact his game next season, but I do believe he has one of the higher floors in this draft class. Three years from now, I completely expect him to be a well-known name at the wide receiver position.
Emanuel Hall is very fast. There is absolutely no way to deny that. The problem is that it seems as though his draft profile is being limited to speed. The truth is is that he is a very polished receiver who will make the lives of defensive backs incredibly difficult.
There is just under a month until the NFL Draft. At this point, Hall is being looked at as a late day two pick by most. Don’t be surprised if Hall climbs boards, and even gets selected in the second round come draft day. The NFL loves speed, and he brings a lot more to the table than speed guys in previous seasons such as John Ross and D.J. Chark.
Embed from Getty Images