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Ted’s Talk: Predicting Derick Hall’s rookie season

An overview of Seattle’s (first) second-round pick along with my predictions for his rookie season.

Mercer v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

After leaving some Seattle Seahawks fans puzzled at the lack of addressing the defensive line with their first-round picks, Seattle selected Auburn EDGE Derick Hall at No. 37. He’s long, strong, and athletic but needs some refinement to truly unlock his potential.

Athletic Profile/Comps

Relative Athletic Score (RAS)


As you can see, Hall is supremely athletic, with elite speed scores according to RAS. He has a fantastic 1.55 10-yard split, which is an indicator of his get-off coming out of his stance. I’ve seen the comparison to former Seahawks legend Cliff Avril thrown around. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth looking at.

Clearly, this would be a dream outcome for Hall’s career in Seattle since Avril was such an important part of the success of the Seahawks defense from 2013-2016. Other comparisons from Mockdraftable include Jermaine Johnson II, Sam Williams, and Will Anderson Jr – all of whom were high draft picks the last two years. Hall may not have great size at just under 6’3” 254 lbs, but he has extremely long arms of 34.5” and uses them well to keep blockers off of his frame.

One “Hall”mark of his that won’t show up in the athletic testing is his motor. Hall plays like his hair is on fire, whether it’s a pass or a run. Even if he’s initially blocked, he doesn’t give up and gets plenty of late pressure. You don’t have to watch the montage of clips below very long to see examples of Hall’s effort.

It’s not just Hall’s athleticism that was intriguing for the Seahawks – he’s also very experienced having played 40 games over four seasons in the SEC. Hall wasn’t just a bystander either as he recorded 29.5 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, 1 INT, and 5 FF.

Gut reaction to the pick

Initially, I was pumped just for the fact that they addressed the front seven of the defense. Admittedly, Hall was lower on my list of potential Seahawks than some of the other names available like BJ Ojulari or Keion White, so I wasn’t as familiar with him. It didn’t take me long to take a shine to Hall.

Seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet, you need to.

John Schneider and Pete Carroll talk about grit and toughness. There might not be anyone else in this draft class – or even on the Seahawks roster – who exemplifies these qualities more than Derick Hall. He was a team captain at Auburn and feels like a guy the team will rally around.

Continuing the trend of their first two picks this year, Seattle drafted a player who was high on their board in the range he was expected to be taken. In fact, it came out after the draft that the Seahawks had a first-round grade on Hall. If that’s true – and they got him at No. 37 – it’s a great pairing of need and value.

Rookie season prediction

Hall will join the EDGE rotation right away with Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, and Boye Mafe. Taylor struggled against the run at times last season, so I could see Hall getting early down reps to set the edge against the run with Taylor being brought in for more pass rushing opportunities. Hall’s usage may be similar to how Mafe was used in 2022 since both have great athletic traits but need refinement.

In fact, I think Hall will have a similar impact to Mafe in his rookie year, yet slightly more effective due to his college experience and production in the SEC. Hall may not have many flashy pass rushes but will be relentless and clean up on a few “coverage sacks.” Something along the lines of 40 total tackles, 4.0 sacks and 5.0 TFL seems right since I think he’ll see the field more than Mafe did last year. Yet, the toughness and attitude that Hall brings to the defense may have an even bigger impact in 2023 than pure statistics can show.