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Seahawks Training Camp, Day 10: Derick Hall has strong performance at practice

The rookie pass rusher from Auburn is showing why the team made him a second-round pick.

Western Kentucky v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The first preseason game is nearly upon us. The Seattle Seahawks are preparing to open the year by hosting the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. While the preseason can sometimes feel simply like a speed bump standing between us and the games that actually matter, I am excited nonetheless to see some of the rookies and new additions take the field for the first time. While the the pair of first round picks in Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are stealing most of the headlines, another player is starting to make his presence felt. Derick Hall — the second-round pass rusher out of Auburn — reportedly wrapped up his best practice of training camp thus far.

The selection of Derick Hall with the 37th overall pick wasn’t without a small amount of controversy; the 22-year old pass rusher and 2022 first-team All SEC nominee drew some criticism for what some perceived as a reach.

Regardless, most can agree on the fact that Hall was productive in college and has the talent to play in the NFL. Whether or not he utilizes that talent is the bigger question. For this reason, it is particularly good to hear some positive reports about his performance. The Seahawks have some history of getting solid production out of their second round edge rushers (Frank Clark, Darrell Taylor, and (to some extent) Boye Mafe, to name a few). Up until this point, I hadn’t heard a ton of word about Hall in camp, save for a few clips of him running drills.

Sports Reference credits Derick Hall with collecting 20 sacks in 40 games in his four seasons with the Auburn Tigers. He was a productive pass rusher against some of the top competition in the nation, and landed at 10th overall in Dane Brugler’s Edge rankings heading into the draft. Brugler was admittedly a bit less bullish than some on Hall’s game, projecting him in a similar range to what Matty F. Brown suggested above.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Auburn, Hall played an edge rusher position in former defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding’s four-man front, mostly out of a two-point stance. He was the Tigers’ most productive backfield player the last few seasons, leading the team in both tackles for loss and sacks his junior and senior years. Only two pounds and nine ounces when he was born, Hall grew into a long, rocked-up defender who wears down blockers with aggressive stabs and speed-to-power moves. He can set a physical edge versus the run, but hints of stiffness leave him tardy to disengage and work off contact. Overall, Hall doesn’t have fully fleshed-out counter maneuvers, but he is an urgent, hard-charging pass rusher with linear athleticism and power in his hands. He will be attractive to multiple schemes and projects as a potential NFL starter, similar to the Denver Broncos’ Jonathan Cooper.

GRADE: 2nd-3rd Round (No. 58 overall)

Clearly, draft grades and projections are far less meaningful than on-field production. The good news is that Seattle shouldn’t need Hall to be a top-flight pass rusher right out of the gate. While the team awaits the return of Darrell Taylor — who likely dodged major injury and is hopefully in line for a swift return — they also have 2022’s leading sack artist in Uchenna Nwosu as well as Boye Mafe, who impressed in limited action last season. The Seahawks could elect to approach Derick’s rookie season similarly, putting him in the rotation without asking him to consistently anchor the team’s pass rush. Besides, Hall is explosive, so he may not need a ton of action to get after opposing QBs.

We should expect to see Derick Hall get some extended action in the preseason. Look for him to see the field on Thursday when the Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings!