Raiders in Communication With Ultra-Athletic LB Prospect: Report

jon gruden

Getty Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden.

One thing was clear in Mike Mayock’s first draft with the Raiders and it’s that he loves sleepers. He also loves undrafted free agents. From Alec Ingold to Keisean Nixon, the team got solid contributions from their undrafted guys and they could be looking to find some more underrated prospects this year. One very interesting name to keep an eye on is linebacker Austin Hall out of Memphis.

You won’t find Hall on many draft big boards and he wasn’t at the Combine, but he’s an athletic marvel based on his pro day numbers. He ran a 4.50 40-yard dash, which is very impressive for a linebacker. According to Justin M, the Raiders are among the teams who have reached out to Hall.

Hall is definitely undersized for an NFL linebacker at 220 pounds, but if the Raiders can get him to pack on muscle without losing speed, he could be a serious steal.

Hall Is Open to Playing Safety or LB

If Hall has trouble packing on weight, there’s always the chance he could play safety. He certainly has enough speed to play the position. In a Q&A with The Spun, Hall said he’d be open to a position a swtich.

“That’s a tough question because honestly, I’m not really even sure,” Hall said when asked if he’d rather play safety or linebacker in the NFL. “I’ve dropped down in some weight. I’m really trying to focus on building strength and getting a little bit lighter. Being a college student, it might be a little hard to eat healthy, but I’m just making sure I’m putting the right things in my body. As for my position, I’m versatile. I can do a lot of things for sure. I’m willing and open to play any position. If I need to put more weight on and play linebacker, I will. Honestly right now, could definitely see myself at this weight playing at strong safety down in the box.”

The Raiders have needs at both safety and linebacker, so adding a versatile prospect like Hall could be very interesting.

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Will Hall Get Drafted?

While Hall hasn’t been regarded as one of the top linebacker prospects in the draft, his excellent pro day numbers should help his chances of finding a team. However, there’s a real shot he doesn’t even get drafted. In a seven-round mock draft, CBS Sports does not have Hall getting picked at any point.

That’s bad for Hall, but potentially very good for the Raiders. They currently don’t have a pick in the sixth or seventh round. If that continues to be the case on draft day, then it’s unlikely they use a fifth-round pick on Hall. If he’s available on the free agent market, then the Raiders have a better chance of snagging him without having to invest too heavily.

It’s hard to imagine a team isn’t willing to use a seventh-round pick on Hall with the athletism he brings to the table. If the Raiders are able to trade their way into the seventh-round, Hall is a name to keep an eye on.

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