Player Spotlight: Ohio State DT Michael Hall Jr.

Rutgers v Ohio State
Rutgers v Ohio State / Ben Jackson/GettyImages

College - Ohio State

Age (At Draft Day) - 20

Position - Defensive Tackle (3-Tech)

Height - 6-foot-3

Weight - 290 pounds

Wingspan - 81 2/8" (73rd percentile)

40-Yard Dash - 4.78 (97th percentile)


Michael Hall Jr. emerged from Streetsboro High School in Cleveland, Ohio as a standout prospect, garnering attention from scouts nationwide and earning a 4-star recruit status from both ESPN and 247 Sports. In the 2021 class, he was ranked as the 37th prospect nationally and the second best within Ohio. At Ohio State He had a slow start to his college career, redshirting as a freshman and just appearing in two games in 2021.

However, it was in subsequent seasons that he truly flourished, demonstrating his versatility and impact on the defensive line. As his role increased, so did his production, with notable improvements in his pass-rushing ability and overall disruptive presence on the field. In his RS freshman and sophomore seasons he totalled 43 tackles including 10 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.

By his redshirt sophomore year, Hall Jr. had solidified his status as a key contributor, tallying impressive statistics and earning recognition for his defensive prowess. Throughout his time at Ohio State, Hall Jr. showcased a blend of athleticism, technique, and football intelligence that caught the eye of NFL scouts, positioning him as an intriguing prospect heading into the draft.


Explosive First Step - Hall Jr.'s explosive first step is a testament to his exceptional lower body power and anticipation off the snap. He consistently gains an early advantage over offensive linemen, allowing him to penetrate the line of scrimmage and disrupt plays in the backfield. He possesses the agility and flexibility to dip and bend around blockers, effectively navigating through traffic to apply pressure on the quarterback or make tackles behind the line of scrimmage. His ability to create immediate disruption sets the tone for the defense and forces opposing offenses to account for his presence on every snap.

Upper Body Strength and Reach - Hall's impressive upper-body strength and long arms provide him with a significant advantage when engaging with offensive linemen. He utilizes his strength to control the point of attack, often extending his arms to create separation and maintain leverage against blockers. This allows him to shed blocks efficiently and disengage from would-be blockers to make plays on the ball carrier. His ability to dictate the terms of engagement with his strength and reach makes him a disruptive force in both the running and passing game.

Versatile Pass-Rushing Arsenal - He possesses a diverse repertoire of pass-rushing moves, showcasing his technical proficiency and creativity as a rusher. He effectively mixes speed, power, and finesse to keep blockers off balance and create opportunities to penetrate the pocket. Whether employing quick counters, swim moves, or bull rushes, The Ohio State product demonstrates a nuanced understanding of leverage and hand placement to exploit weaknesses in his opponent's technique. His adaptability as a pass rusher allows him to succeed in one-on-one matchups and contribute to the overall disruption of the opposing offense.

High Motor and Football Intelligence - Hall Jr. is characterized by his relentless motor and football intelligence, traits that elevate his impact on the field. He displays a relentless work ethic and competitive spirit, never conceding on a play and consistently pursuing the ball carrier with intensity. Additionally, he exhibits a high level of football IQ, recognizing offensive tendencies and adjusting his approach accordingly. Whether sniffing out screen plays, diagnosing blocking schemes, or anticipating the quarterback's cadence, he demonstrates a keen understanding of the game's nuances, allowing him to consistently make impactful plays for his defense.

High-Level Pass-Rush Potential - Demonstrates a refined understanding of pass-rush techniques, leveraging his quick-twitch movements and functional strength to gain leverage against offensive linemen. His ability to explode off the snap and employ a variety of moves, including rips, swims, and clubs, allows him to consistently pressure quarterbacks. He possesses a keen sense of timing, often executing counter moves with precision to exploit the blocker's vulnerabilities. His effectiveness in disrupting passing lanes and creating havoc in the backfield makes him a valuable asset in any defensive scheme, with the potential to be a true game wrecker.

Nov 4, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. (51)
Nov 4, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. (51) / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA


Tweener Body Type - Hall Jr.'s tweener body type presents a challenge in defining his optimal role within an NFL defensive scheme. At times, he may struggle to find a positional fit due to being too big for defensive end and too small for defensive tackle. This lack of ideal size for a specific position could lead to difficulties in anchoring against larger offensive linemen and holding up consistently against the run. Additionally, his size limitations may limit his effectiveness in certain gap responsibilities, potentially exposing vulnerabilities in run defense and pass coverage situations.

Hand Placement and Technique - The former Buckeye exhibits occasional lapses in hand placement and technique, particularly when engaging with offensive linemen. He has a tendency to keep his hands down by his waist, which can expose his chest and allow blockers to gain leverage. This limitation diminishes his ability to control the point of attack and shed blocks effectively, impacting his overall effectiveness as a run defender and pass rusher.

Subpar Block Recognition - Hall struggles with recognizing and reacting to blocking schemes in a timely manner, which can lead to being outmaneuvered and out of position. He is often late to react to double teams or down blocks, resulting in him getting washed inside and losing gap integrity.

Injury History - Hall Jr. has a storied history of injuries, including undisclosed ailments and multiple shoulder issues, which have impacted his availability and performance on the field. While these injuries have not significantly hindered his production, they raise concerns about his durability and ability to withstand the physical demands of the NFL.

Draft Projection - Second Round

Michael Hall Jr. is expected to be selected somewhere on day two of the NFL Draft, but his stock has been rising ever since his outstanding pro day at Ohio State. The Ohio native is valued for his versatility, athleticism, and potential as an interior defensive lineman. Teams running hybrid defensive schemes or utilizing multiple fronts will prioritize his skill set, given his ability to disrupt passing plays and play multiple positions along the defensive line. While concerns about his injury history may temper some teams' enthusiasm, those with patient coaching staff's and a track record of developing young talent may view him as a high-upside investment. In the NFL, Hall Jr. projects as a rotational player initially, with the potential to develop into a starter over time. His role will primarily be as a penetrating interior rusher, utilizing his explosiveness off the snap and diverse pass-rushing arsenal to collapse the pocket and disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Additionally, he can contribute against the run with his agility and strength, though his size may present challenges against larger offensive linemen. With the right coaching and development, he has the potential to emerge as a disruptive force and cornerstone piece of a team's defense at the professional level.

Player Comparison - Sheldon Richardson

A fitting comparison for Michael Hall Jr. in the NFL is Sheldon Richardson, known for his versatility, explosiveness, and disruptive presence on the defensive line. Both players possess similar physical attributes, with Richardson standing at 6'3" - 295 pounds, and possess comparable attributes as well. Both players excel as interior pass rushers, utilizing their agility, hand technique, and relentless motor to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. While Richardson has established himself as a consistent starter with refined technique and experience, Hall Jr. enters the league with more raw talent and developmental upside. However, with the potential for growth and refinement, Hall Jr. could reach similar heights in the NFL, offering a valuable reference point for understanding his potential impact as a disruptive force along the defensive line, capable of making plays in both the running and passing game.