Breece Hall became the first running back selected in the 2022 NFL Draft when the New York Jets selected him at No. 36 overall. The Jets moved up in the second round by trading with the New York Giants to get ahead of the Houston Texans, who were reportedly in the market for an upgrade at running back.
Hall was the offense at Iowa State, and this was an offense that flourished in the Big 12 as it operated through Hall as both a runner and receiver. It's Hall's balanced skill set that gets me excited about his transition to the NFL because I don't know that you'll find a more well-rounded receiving back in this class from a route running, hands and athleticism standpoint. Watching the Iowa State offense with Hall was like watching a throwback football game from the days when teams would lean on one back. Hall racked up 511 carries over the past two seasons, and that's 111 more carries combined than any other Power 5 running back.
Hall's ability to handle a massive workload and his total volume may be viewed by some as a knock on his profile, and the same was said about Jonathan Taylor and Melvin Gordon when they entered the draft out of Wisconsin, but I view it from another angle. Hall has proven the ability to carry the full workload and not need to come off the field on any downs -- his prowess as a receiver makes it difficult for any coach to take him off the field on third downs and obvious passing downs. There are very few true workhorse backs remaining at the NFL level, and depending on where Hall lands, he could be the next one. This is why it's no surprise to me that you're seeing Hall come off the board at No. 1 overall in some rookie-only mock drafts. This was the case in our recent rookie-only mock draft.
We're breaking down everything you need to know about Hall from a Fantasy manager perspective, including best fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.
I don't know that there was a better fit for Hall than the Jets from a purely schematic standpoint. Hall excels as a one cut and go runner and that makes him a perfect fit for Mike LaFleur's Jets offensive system that has its roots in the Shanahan outside zone-blocking scheme. The Jets proved they wanted to the run ball early, often and even in situations that were not always suited for a run from an analytics standpoint. That's excellent news for Hall who will have a legitimate opportunity to emerge as a true workhorse early on given his proven production as a receiver in the passing game. The Jets have an improving offensive line that features road graders Mehki Becton (if he can stay healthy) and Alijah Vera-Tucker. He will not only be the first running back selected in the NFL Draft but most likely in your Fantasy drafts as well.
Hall enters rookie drafts in Dynasty leagues with an excellent outlook thanks to his early breakout age and his upside in the passing game (translatable right away). He will be 21 years old his entire rookie season in the NFL. Hall was the first running back off the board and the first player selected overall in our recent rookie-only mock and he will consistently be one of the first players drafted -- in any format. Hall demonstrated next-level athleticism (explosive jumps, elite straight-line speed), the ability to excel as a receiver, excellent vision and contact balance -- and he stayed healthy despite a heavy workload at Iowa State. Arriving in New York with the Jets and only Michael Carter to compete with for touches is a good thing. The fit in the Jets' outside-zone blocking scheme for a runner who shows glimpses of prime Arian Foster make him an exciting target in any Dynasty format.
- Contact balance is king for Hall. Some who evaluate the position believe contact balance is the most important trait, and it's easy to see why they feel that way when you watch Hall's tape -- he's constantly creating after contact and maximizing yardage.
- Hall enters the NFL with no question marks about his durability. Despite racking up more carries than any Power 5 back over the past two seasons by far, he has avoided the injury bug throughout his collegiate career.
- Hall broke out at an early age, taking over the lead job as a freshman and racking up 1,149 total yards and 10 touchdowns.
- Hall displays an excellent ability to create yards after contact and will immediately be a plus runner in that regard -- a trait that often translates to the next level.
- Hall has legitimate breakaway speed that shows up on long runs on the game film where he often beats safeties -- backed up by his 4.39 40-yard dash.
Breece Hall’s elite ceiling is clear. He profiles as a “workhorse” back at 6’1 220 lbs and pairs tremendous speed (4.39 40 time) with his power and vision.— EliteDrafters (@EliteDrafters) March 19, 2022
Hall possess that big play potential and home run threat you see in great NFL stars. pic.twitter.com/jcAk1u8tIZ
- Big-time production at a Power 5 school -- in consecutive seasons Hall topped 1,750 total yards and 23 touchdowns.
- Hall is an explosive athlete -- it shows up in the open field and as a receiving option.
- Hall has demonstrated efficiency and upside as a receiving option and should immediately translate in that regard at the NFL level. He totaled 59 catches (66 targets) for 491 yards and 5 touchdowns
- Thick, compact lower-body build despite his lengthy frame -- could also be a factor in his plus durability.
- Hall is not a one cut-and-go type of runner and that can sometimes be a problem as he has more build-up speed than anything else (this sometimes works to his favor as he is a patient runner -- think Le'Veon Bell)
- He runs a bit high -- in part due to his 6-1 frame. He could get away with this at the collegiate level at times almost barreling through defenders -- specifically around the goal line -- but it could be a hindrance at the NFL level.
- Sometimes Hall takes too long to get vertical and drive through contact when it's his best option.
- Hall has much more experience running zone, so he best fits a team that uses predominantly a zone-based blocking scheme in the run game.
Advanced stats to know
- Hall led all backs at the collegiate level in yards after first contact since 2019 with 2,310 yards after contact
- 22 carries of 15+ yards -- seventh-most in the nation, per Pro Football Focus
- 74 missed tackles forced -- seventh-most in the nation, per Pro Football Focus
When I watch Hall, I'm reminded of prime Arian Foster. Like Foster, I think Hall would best fit a Shanahan-esque one-cut and go zone-based blocking system. He has Foster's patience and even provides as much or more breakaway ability -- with a thicker frame and better yards after contact ability than Foster had.