The NFL preseason has come and gone, and this year’s preseason darling, the Na Brown Award winner, is, by a country mile, Daeshon Hall
Hall was hugely productive in the preseason. His four sacks were 3rd best in the league, and he led the league with three forced fumbles. It was just the preseason, but Hall was a force at a premium position, and one that the Eagles could use some depth at.
Perhaps all he needed was a chance. Every season around the league unheralded players get a chance in the right system, on the right team, and make their mark. Hall played just 25 snaps on defense in his career, and 39 on special teams. A third round pick by the Panthers in 2017, Hall missed most of his rookie season to injury. He then was released on cut downs in 2018, then spent time on the 49ers and Texans practice squads before the Eagles signed him. He’s had few opportunities to show what he can do. He got it with the Eagles, and he impressed.
But can Hall carry over his play to the regular season?
Be wary the preseason stat compiler. Top sack getters in the preseason don’t usually translate to the regular season. The past five preseasons have seen 12 players tally at least four sacks, and the track record is not good:
2014: Jayrone Elliott (not on an active roster in 2018), Margus Hunt (6 sacks in 65 games since then), Damontre Moore (10 sacks and 5 teams since then)
2015: Shaquil Barrett (14 sacks in 61 games), Jackson Jeffcoat (9 career NFL games)
2016: Justin Trattou (hasn’t played since 2016), Jacquies Smith (13.5 sacks in two previous regular seasons, 0 sacks since after multiple injuries), Dekoda Watson (3 sacks in 34 games since then)
2017: Al-Quadin Muhammed (0 sacks in 19 games), Jordan Willis (2 sacks in 32 games)
2018: Cap Capi (not even on a practice squad last year), Hassan Ridgeway, who is now on the Eagles
Not an inspiring list of players. And statistical standouts for the Eagles in the preseason isn’t anything new. Remember Everette Brown? He had four sacks for the Eagles in 2013, he didn’t make the roster. Chris McCoy had 3.5 and was also cut. Henry Josey was second in rushing yards in 2014. Being productive in the preseason is certainly better than not being productive, but it foreshadows nothing. The other side of the coin of not having a lot of chances is that three teams have had a look at him and decided they didn’t need him.
All of that said, the Eagles were right to keep him. This is a team trying to win another Super Bowl, and they need depth at defensive end. Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller have promise, but the Eagles can’t sit around waiting for promise at the expense of production. (Whether they should have traded for Jadeveon Clowney is a separate discussion.) While the situations aren’t identical, look no further than the Josh McCown signing, or the players they brought in to compete for a backup safety position. And in his third year in the league, it’s not like Hall is ring chasing veteran just looking to hang on. At 24 years old, joins Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller in the teams group of under 25 pass rushers. If Hall can buck the trend of preseason standout pass rushers, the Eagles present and future depth suddenly looks pretty good.
Are you confident that Daeshon Hall can keep up his preseason play?
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