A couple of cycles ago, BYU QB Zach Wilson exploded onto the scene and became a top-three selection in the NFL draft. Now, in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, can his successor Jaren Hall follow the same trajectory? There are several factors working against Hall, but his talent is something he can rely upon in the coming chase.
Jaren Hall NFL draft profile
Wilson is entering his second season in the NFL. Hall is still at BYU, serving as the Cougars’ primary signal-caller. And yet, Wilson is one and a half years younger than Hall.
Hall was born in March of 1998 and will be 25 years old as a rookie in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Age will work against the Cougars product, as will his size for more cerebral QB evaluators. But one thing working in Hall’s favor is the dearth of certainty beyond the top two quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Beyond C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young, no one has locked down a spot in the early rounds. And as we saw in the 2022 NFL Draft, scarcity can cause teams to overlook cosmetic factors like age — if a prospect is talented enough.
That’s why everything is resting on the 2022 season for Hall. We know he has the talent. It’s why he was listed on the Shrine Bowl 1000. He’s been productive, recording 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just five picks in 2021. But can he put together a résumé compelling enough to earn an eventual starting opportunity at the NFL level, even with his age and reduced prime years? That’s what we’re here to find out.
- Position: Quarterback
- School: BYU
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’1″, 205 pounds
Jaren Hall scouting report
Positional value naturally elevates the best quarterbacks into the early rounds. Does Hall have enough in his toolbox to rise that far with a stellar 2022 campaign? Here’s a look at Hall’s traits as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect and whether he can ascend up the board.
The raw talent is, at the very least, intriguing with Hall. The BYU QB generates velocity with little strain, and his passes travel quickly in the short and intermediate ranges. He’s a very natural thrower who knows how to channel through his body to get maximum velocity. Hall has the arm strength to push the ball outside the numbers in the intermediate range, and his release is effortless on short throws.
Hall has not only the requisite arm strength but also the requisite arm elasticity. The BYU QB is comfortable throwing from different arm angles and can generate velocity with ease off-platform. He has a visibly elastic arm, a crisp release, and an effective sidearm release. He’s shown he can actively manipulate arm angles to elongate throwing windows.
Expanding on his talent, Hall is a high-energy athlete who can quickly generate momentum out of his stance and jolt away from tackle attempts. He has great mobility in space, with the speed to outrun defenders and extend plays to the sideline. He can also use his speed to stretch space in the open field. Moreover, Hall brings good lateral agility, which he can use in corrective bursts to escape free rushers and find space.
As a processor, Hall has shown he can anticipate windows downfield based on coverage and route alignment. The BYU QB flashes the ability to work high to low after play fakes and land on his checkdowns. He’s also shown he can anticipate route breaks in the short range and deliver timely passes. Perhaps most notably, Hall has displayed the use of eye manipulation to draw single-high safeties off-course and free up deep routes. While greater consistency is still desired, Hall has a decent floor as a processor.
Mechanically, Hall’s flexible hips allow him to generate good torque even when rolling to the left. He actively loads his hips, consistently gets proper rotation, and keeps his left arm tight to his body to help maximize that rotation. Hall has shown he can manipulate his shoulder alignment to put heightened degrees of loft on his throws, and he can also keep his shoulders level on the move.
Even with hyperactive feet, Hall can keep his base uniform and stay in phase when adjusting his alignment. When in phase, he can keep his shoulders level to reduce the spread of his throws. Moreover, the BYU QB can quickly snap into place with level shoulders and a steady base on timing throws. When his mechanics are sound, he can place the ball in stride for yards after the catch in the short range.
In the pocket, Hall has shown he can rotate away from pressure and manage spacing to keep himself clean. He’s able to step up into the pocket and stand tall in congested areas, keeping his eyes downfield. He has the patience to let blocks reform after play fakes and weave through traffic.
As a decision-maker, Hall shows a degree of discretion at times when working high to low. He can pass up dangerous throws for safer checkdowns, and he’s also proven to have the wherewithal to throw the ball away when he’s forced toward the sideline with no options. When Hall can stay in the pocket, however, he’s able to see through passes while encountering contact, and his poise is consistently impressive.
Hall’s areas for improvement
At 6’1″, 205 pounds, while Hall has decent frame density, he’s below-average size overall for a QB. Beyond his size, Hall doesn’t have elite arm strength. Some deep passes are underthrown even with good mechanics and force receivers to decelerate. Hall also lacks elite instincts as a creator, as he sometimes freezes when faced with quick pressure.
While Hall has decent processing ability, his field vision is questionable at times. He can stare down routes and experience indecision, allowing defenders to close in. He can better keep his eyes forward on his dropback and has room to anticipate with greater consistency. Moreover, Hall sometimes clutches on breaks, which can delay his trigger. His hesitation occasionally uses up time, closes windows, and exhausts opportunities.
Hall’s internal clock runs a bit too slow at times. He overlooks receivers over the middle of the field and can linger in the pocket too long. He can be slow to sense pressure and sometimes leaves himself vulnerable to dangerous blindside hits. At times, he can be a bit too skittish with his footwork as well, and pressure can elicit off-balance throws in those instances.
Mechanically, while Hall is a natural thrower, he has room for added refinement. The BYU QB can better drive his hips through passes. His footwork can also be too hyperactive and uncontrolled at times. His unsteady base can tug his front shoulder up on passes, pushing throws high. His release point also varies at times, which can impact the precision of his passes.
Expanding on his mechanics, Hall has occasional scissor feet on the dropback, and he can be lackadaisical with his mechanics on quick passes. He doesn’t always get his front foot all the way around when correcting toward throws over the middle of the field. Predictably, Hall’s mechanical issues can precipitate into issues with accuracy as well.
Hall sometimes inexplicably misses his target by pushing the ball too far past them. He needs to learn to manage velocity and touch more efficiently. He also has room to improve his placement on back shoulder throws toward the sideline, as he can’t be an area thrower in situations that call for precision. His consistency with accuracy wanes in the intermediate and deep ranges. He’s shown he can be on-target, but he can be hot and cold.
Among other things, Hall can struggle with accuracy on the run. The BYU QB sometimes misses high or behind his receiver when he isn’t able to fully torque his hips. He’ll also lock in on one-on-one opportunities, trying to force passes against tight coverage.
Current draft projection for BYU QB Jaren Hall
Behind Stroud and Young, the 2023 NFL Draft QB class is largely wide open. Hall is one of the many signal-callers vying for an open spot in the early rounds. As of now, however, he’s graded as a Day 3 selection, and his advanced age will only work against him.
Hall is still safely draftable at this point, and his natural talent is a big part of that. Hall is athletic, mobile, and has a strong, elastic arm. Add in his poise in the pocket and willingness to step up, and he already fits the mold of a desirable backup. He’s a player who doesn’t shy away from pressure and can create for himself to a degree with his traits.
That said, if Hall is to become an early-round pick, he has a lot to work on. And with his age, the margin for error is smaller for him. Hall needs to become a more consistent processor. He needs to iron out some mechanical issues and improve his accuracy in the intermediate and deep ranges. And he also can improve his instincts in the pocket to maximize his natural creation ability.
Hall needs more work than you’d prefer for a 25-year-old rookie. Older prospects have taken leaps before — just look at Kenny Pickett from the cycle prior. But as it stands, Hall needs to progress before he joins that exception tier. Nevertheless, in his current form, he holds appeal as a quality backup selection in the early-to-mid Day 3 range.