ESPN’s Mike Reiss had a funny and informative tweet that showed Hall at Patriots OTAs on Friday running an out route.
New England has added several weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but if there is an area where they could still use some help, it’s in the speed department.
That’s probably why they drafted Tre Nixon in the seventh round, and it likely has something to do with them bringing Hall in for a look.
Hall’s NFL Career
Hall, 28, has been in and out of the NFL since 2017. He was initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders in 2016. He bounced around between a few organizations before breaking in with the Atlanta Falcons.
Hall made an impact with the Falcons, appearing in 24 games from 2017-18. He made 12 catches for two touchdowns before being released. The Chicago Bears signed him to their practice squad, but he didn’t stick.
He landed with the Detroit Lions, where he played for Bill Belichick’s general assistant and former Motown head coach Matt Patricia. Hall spent 2019 and part of 2020 with the Lions. Hall played one game for the Cleveland Browns in 2020.
During his time with the Lions, he added two more touchdown receptions to solidify his big-play ability. The ability to stretch the field is what is most attractive about Hall. Before you dismiss this signing as a less-than-noteworthy pickup during OTAs, take a look at his catches in the NFL.
Hall has some burst, good hands, and appears to be a solid route runner. Perhaps he needs the opportunity to show what he can do on a more regular basis.
Can he get that extended look in New England?
Does Hall Have a Chance to Stick?
The Patriots have created quite the competitive environment at wide receiver. We know that Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, and Matthew Slater’s spots are secure. Slater is a mainstay on special teams, even though he seldom plays much wide receiver.
That still gives the Patriots four wide receivers on the roster, which likely means the team will only carry one or two more on most game days.
Hall belongs to a group that includes former first-round pick N’Keal Harry, Nixon, 2020 special teams Pro-Bowler Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson, and Isaiah Zuber. One or two players could wind up on the practice squad (Wilkerson, Zuber, Nixon, or Hall).
If Harry or Olszewski don’t make the roster, they are more likely to be released; more so in the former’s situation (if New England can’t find a trade partner). Imagine if the Patriots complete a deal to add Julio Jones; That move would decrease the window for bubble players even more.
In any case, things are heating up, and the Patriots should at least enjoy the fruits of bringing in an influx of talent on offense.
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