It’s been a relatively quiet summer for Howie Roseman in terms of making trades but the Eagles executive vice president of football operations DID make one deal on the NFL’s roster cut down day. The Eagles sent a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Bears in exchange for Chicago defensive back Deiondre’ Hall. (No word on the exact condition.)
In order to get to know more about Hall, who is suspended for Week 1, I reached out to our associates over at SB Nation’s Bears team site: Windy City Gridiron. Robert Zeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) was kind enough to answer my questions.
1 - Can you sum up Deiondre’ Hall’s Bears career?
Hall was originally drafted by the Bears as a developmental cornerback in 2016. Injuries and a general lack of talent forced him into the lineup early on where he shined in his first-ever career start in a game against the Lions with a pick and a few tackles. Unfortunately right after that, he suffered a high ankle sprain and wasn’t able to get on the field in any meaningful way the rest of the year. The Bears would convert him into a safety in the off-season and he’s shown flashes since, but hasn’t nearly been able to put it together. Couple that with a few off-field incidents, like his looming suspension, and Hall wasn’t worth the trouble for Chicago.
2 - Is he a safety? A cornerback? Both? Neither?
I should clarify: I think Hall is a better safety than corner. He played both positions in college at Northern Iowa, but doesn’t really have the hips or flexibility to last on the boundary. He does, however, have the range and ballhawk ability to thrive at safety if given the chance. I don’t see him as anything more than a swing man safety, but he could be valuable in that spot role.
3 - What are his strengths?
Hall is incredibly long and uses his lengthy frame of 34-inch arms to really throw pass targets off kilter. He’s physical in run support, and isn’t afraid to fight through blockers and get his hands dirty. Hall also has a fantastic awareness with the ball in the air: if it’s anywhere near his vicinity, it’s his and no one else’s.
4 - What are his weaknesses?
Quicker receivers with fast releases are Hall’s Achilles heel. They’re why he didn’t last at cornerback and the Bears felt the need to switch him to safety where he could play more of a free-roaming game. Those mentioned stiff hips? They show up more often than you’d like, and in the most inopportune moments. His makeup speed isn’t great either: if he’s beat, wrap it up.
5 - Any off the field stuff to know about him?
Yeah, actually a bunch. The Bears may have kept Hall and his upside around longer if there weren’t issues with him away from football. In 2017, Hall was arrested for disorderly conduct and public intoxication at a fight at a bar in Cedar Falls, Iowa. And this summer he was suspended the first game for violating the NFL’s substance policy. The Bears simply deemed him to not be worth the trouble anymore.
6 - How do you envision his NFL career going from this point?
I’m not overly high on Hall anymore, but if there was a place to salvage his NFL career it’d be with Jim Schwartz and the Eagles. I think as long as the staff there can rein him in and keep him focused on learning one position within the defensive scheme, he could end up being a noteworthy role player. Someone you can count on reliably in the event of an injury. Any situation where he turns into a viable long term starter and more, well, that ship has run it’s course.