As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas from April 28-30, we’re taking a look at some of the players the team could be targeting with their 12 draft picks: Round 1 (29 and 30), Round 2 (50 and 62), Round 3 (94 and 103), Round 4 (121 and 135) and Round 7 (233, 243, 251 and 259).
The Chiefs have formed a solid group of interior defenders behind star player Chris Jones: Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton, Khalen Saunders and offseason acquisition Taylor Stallworth.
That said, only Jones is under contract past the 2022 season — although the team could tender Wharton as a restricted free agent. While the team’s need for defensive ends remains a big priority, there is a long-term need for any kind of defensive lineman who can get after the quarterback and create penetration — no matter where they line up.
That’s why the Chiefs could be interested in a defensive tackle prospect from Houston: Logan Hall. Hall is considered a defensive tackle or a defensive end, depending on who you ask. Let’s look at this versatile player, who could be available on either of the draft’s first two days.
A native of Belton, Texas, Hall committed to Houston as a three-star defensive end prospect in 2018. As a true freshman, he played immediately.
Over four years with the Cougars, Hall recorded 97 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, a forced fumble and a pass defended. 13 of those tackles for loss came in his final season, helping him earn first-team All-AAC honors.
Logan Hall finishes the day strong. pic.twitter.com/dKkh7HgrKT— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 6, 2022
At the NFL Combine, Hall was measured at 6 feet 6 and 283 pounds — although he lacked the wingspan and hand size to match; his measurements there ranked in the 35th and 30th percentiles for defensive linemen. But his athletic testing made up for that: he ran a 4.88-second 40-yard dash, while also putting up eye-popping agility numbers.
College film evaluation
After playing primarily as a defensive end during his freshman season, Hall was mostly an interior player for the remainder of his college career; according to PFF, 84% of his snaps from 2019-2021 came from an A-gap or B-gap alignment. Last year, he had one game where he played some snaps aligned outside of the offensive tackle.
Logan Hall -- similar to Chris Jones -- can just be too much to handle on the interior at 6'6" 283lb— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) April 22, 2022
Last yr, Hall played 79% of his snaps inside (per PFF) -- most of them in a 3T/4i . Even more interior snaps in '20. 10% pressure rate each of the last 2 yrs pic.twitter.com/OD8fItIPQC
With Hall’s huge frame, he’s just generally hard to deal with on the interior — where the offensive linemen are typically shorter-armed and lighter; this is why Jones is such a dominant player. Hall uses that length advantage against guards and centers to execute swim and rip moves, squeezing past them by outsizing them and collapsing the pocket from the front.
His measurables told us he doesn’t have as impressive a wingspan as you’d expect from his size, but that almost works to his advantage when working against interior blockers. If his arms were longer, it would be easier for him to get caught up in the muck of pass protection. It allows him to get into a blocker’s chest better than another player with longer limbs might be able to do.
Hall isn't the quickest to shed a block typically. There are reps where it takes too long to get off the engagement even if he does end up tossing the blocker to the turf— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) April 22, 2022
His powerful hands do eventually win, it just needs to happen quicker at times pic.twitter.com/Ddl9PQaZYy
That said, his shorter arms and smaller hands don’t necessarily mean quicker hand-swiping or shedding blocks faster. There are a lot of times he’s slow to get off the block — but he will eventually toss a blocker to the ground. He’s a strong dude who consistently overpowers the blockers in front of him. It’s just that at times, it takes a while to get to that point — which can sometimes prevent him from making plays against quick-hitting runs.
Hall definitely flies off the ball faster than most DTs, which comes to fruition in his Elite (for his size/weight) 10-yard split: 1.68 seconds pic.twitter.com/59530eR9FF— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) April 22, 2022
The numbers prove that Hall can move very well for his size — and it shows up in his play. He can fly off the ball and get into the backfield quickly but can also move laterally and track a guy — just like we see here against athletic Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder on a stretch run.
He has to be a B-gap player (if he's interior) at the next level; his height makes it very difficult to absorb double teams and give quality snaps vs. the run at 1T/NT— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) April 22, 2022
Especially when he gets a little fatigued and fires out high a lot, like the 2nd half vs. Cincy last yr: pic.twitter.com/capqKYCyPG
Because he does not have the consistent fundamentals to play as more of an A-gap, gap-plugging player, Hall needs to be aligned in the B-gap — where he can penetrate. Especially later in games, he often fires out too high, getting blown off the ball against the run; in these instances, he does not absorb double teams.
This is also something that Jones did — and with which he has struggled throughout his career.
How he fits with the Chiefs
In the NFL, Hall projects best as a defensive end in a base 3-4 scheme — meaning that he would play from a 5-tech alignment, head up over the tackle in a two-gapping scheme. That allows him to see fewer double teams than he would as an interior defender in a 4-3 base scheme like the Chiefs use — but not necessarily put him on an island against an offensive tackle on the edge.
So if Kansas City were to draft Hall, he’d likely be used as a defensive end — with the understanding that in specific pass-rushing packages, he can also be used on the interior.
Last yr, there was one game where Hall played mostly on the edge: Wk1 vs. Texas Tech (albeit 18 snaps)— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) April 22, 2022
You get a bit of everything in these clips
- Turning momentum into power
- Ducking split zone block to make play on inside run
- Impressive range to the sideline for his size pic.twitter.com/25ZgmqapaN
Last season, there was one game he primarily played from an alignment outside of the tackle: Week 1 against Texas Tech. On 18 snaps, he showed a foundation from which he could build — that is, if a team wants to transition him into being exclusively an outside player.
That said, I don’t see the explosion he displays as an interior player translating to the edge. To fit into Kansas City’s defense during both the short and long term, he’ll have to be used in a way that is similar to how the Chiefs have used Jones — who also didn’t impress while he was being used primarily as a defensive end.
The bottom line
Hall could be a swing that Kansas City could take to get another mismatch among the line during pass-rushing downs. But here’s the question: will taking that swing give the Chiefs a player more like Jones — or one who is more like Breeland Speaks?
These kinds of between-position prospects are always tougher to gauge. But since they have so much draft capital, the Chiefs can lower the risk of making this selection in the second round. If he becomes one of Kansas City’s selections, he will represent an attempt to make the pass rush more disruptive.