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After A Stellar Combine, Emanuel Hall Is Rising Up My Draft Board

Now that we have official combine testing results for the majority of the 2019 NFL Draft class, it’s time for a quick review of former Missouri Tigers’ wide receiver Emanuel Hall.1

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 eight 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.

AGE AND PRODUCTION

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:

SplitHitsTotalHit %Average Draft
Breakout3510932.1%46.8
No Breakout32711.1%61.7

Hall’s age (21.6) is another point worth mentioning. 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:
WR Full Snip

ATHLETICISM

With the help of the RotoViz Combine Explorer, it’s easy to see why Shawn Siegele tapped Hall as a winner based on his size-adjusted speed.


His performance in the explosion drills was also outstanding, rounding on his elite burst profile. A sports hernia injury kept Hall from taking part in the agility drills which is both disappointing2 and incredible3. His combine showing affirmed what some of us already believed; he’s one of the most explosive WRs in the class.

OUTLOOK

Hall is a tough evaluation based on a limited sample size of games played. It’s clear he’s an athletic marvel with a penchant for explosive plays but his injury history4 shouldn’t be ignored. Comparisons to Chris Conley are warranted and highlight the potential risk associated with his tantalizing upside but I still view Hall as an intriguing prospect likely to go off the board in the second round of most rookie drafts.

  1. The original, pre-combine version of this article was published on December 31st, 2018.  (back)
  2. By leaving gaps in his profile  (back)
  3. That he took part in the combine at all  (back)
  4. Including the recently diagnosed sports hernia following the combine  (back)

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