On December 31st, Emanuel Hall will play his final college game for the Missouri Tigers against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Liberty Bowl. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior wide receiver has been mentioned in draft circles as a potential draft day sleeper. But injuries and personal issues have limited his production. Does he profile as a future NFL starter?
THE EARLY YEARS
As a three-star prospect from Franklin, Tennessee, Hall averaged 18.9 yards per reception with 12 touchdowns in his senior season at Centennial High School. He was also a track and field standout with a reported 40.6-inch vertical jump. Hall enrolled at Missouri in the summer of 2015, choosing the Tigers over a handful of other Power Five offers.
As a freshman in 2015, Hall saw limited action finishing with just eight receptions. In 2016, Hall put up a 19-307-2 receiving line in eight games, finishing fourth on the team in yards receiving. It was a relatively inauspicious start to a career. But Hall’s big-play ability was soon to be unleashed.
2017 AND BEYOND
Hall burst onto the national stage as a junior in 2017, finishing second nationally in yards per reception (24.8). He became one of just 12 WRs since 2000 to finish a season with 8 or more receiving TDs while averaging 24 or more yards per reception. A groin injury limited Hall’s production as a senior this season, but he remained an explosive weapon (21.6 yards per reception). Just 17 WRs have finished a season averaging 21 yards per reception on 30 or more receptions. Hall has done it twice.
While Hall’s explosiveness is attractive, certain aspects of his overall profile are concerning. His best season in terms of dominance was 2018 where he posted a 0.24 Dominator Rating. Prospects without at least one season of 30 percent or more of their team’s receiving yards and TDs have become fantasy relevant at a much lower rate compared to prospects with a breakout season:
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Hall’s age (21.6) is another point to reference. Blair Andrews has shown that WRs who play their rookie season at age-22 have historically gone on to have at least one top-24 PPR season about 20 percent of the time. This compares to a 40 percent hit rate for 21-year-old rookies:
But don’t let the outcomes of these two studies make you assume Hall is doomed to toil in obscurity. Anthony Amico reaffirmed how important breakout age is for WR prospects. But career TD production and final-year efficiency — two areas where Hall shines — also play key roles in Amico’s model. Hall falls into a cohort of historical prospects that have finished as a top-24 WR at least once in their first three seasons 33 percent of the time:
The Draft Network’s Jon Ledyard believes Hall’s burst, speed, and second gear with the ball in the air give him a great chance at becoming a vertical threat almost immediately at the next level. Brad Kelly sees him fitting nicely with the Chicago Bears as a potential third or fourth-round pick.
Hall’s lack of a breakout season concerns me but nuance is required in his evaluation. A blazing fast 40-yard time or a strong performance at the Senior Bowl could easily elevate his draft stock. Without knowing his testing results and draft position, however, I view him as a second-round rookie pick in most dynasty leagues.