Any Las Vegas Raiders hopeful looking for a way to stick on the roster merely have to look no further than cornerback Tyler Hall. The undrafted free agent cornerback is a prime example of earning not only a roster spot but also starting snaps as a fringe player.
On the outskirts surely describes Hall. Rarely seeing the field on defense and more of a special teamer with the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams his first two seasons in the league in 2020 and 2021, respectively, the 5-foot-10 and 190-pound Wyoming product was added tot he Raiders practice squad on October 11 in 2022.
While injury decimating Las Vegas roster played a part, Hall impressed the Raiders coaching staff and come Week 11, the 24-year-old corner was a mainstay and made an immediate impact by sacking Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on an improvised blitz and finished the Raiders’ 22-16 win with three total tackles.
Hall played in the final seven games (three starts) and ended with 20 tackles (12 solo), two stops for loss, one sack, and four pass deflections in 219 total snaps (49 percent of the Raiders total defensive snaps). According to Pro Football Reference, Hall was targeted 16 times allowing nine completions (56.3 completion percentage) for 90 yards while not allowing a touchdown. Quarterback’s throwing Hall’s way sported a 72.4 rating. His 2022 peformance earned Hall an 86.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (the highest of any Raiders cornerback) and breakout candidate status by the group.
Not bad for a player that yo-yo’d from practice squad for much of November before being signed to the active roster permanently at the end of the month.
Heading into 2023, Hall has valuable experience and pedigree heading into his second year as a Raider. And with the team’s depth at the cornerback position quite unsettled, Hall is afforded another opportunity to impress and earn starting snaps — potentially long-term status in the slot.
“Tyler is very diligent. He works really hard. He’s smart. He knows his job. He knows really how his job fits in the whole entire context of the team, very competitive,” Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said of Hall last month. “As you saw last year when he got in there like he made an impact right away in certain ways. I expect nothing different this year. He’s a very competitive player that made an impact for us on our roster last year, and I’m excited to see what he can do this year.”
Hall exhibits the position versatility the Raiders coaching staff and player personnel group desire out of the roster. He can play on the perimeter and inside in the slot. Of his 219 snaps, 122 were from the slot (55.7 percent) and, while that sample size may be small, he was effective inside (as he was outside) and wasn’t a liability.
If the Raiders are intent on Nate Hobbs transitioning fully to the outside at cornerback — Hobbs was an excellent slot corner his rookie season in 2021 before mixing boundary coverage duties as well as inside snaps in 2022 — Hall has the ability and moxie to compete and win the nickel corner duties this coming season. He has the intelligence and read and react skills to hold his own in coverage while having the physicality and the reckless abandon to tackle in run support. In fact, Pro Football Reference charted Hall with zero missed tackles in 2022.
If Hall can continue to impress when the Raiders convene for training camp towards the tail end of this month, showcase the same coverage chops and tackling ability in preseason tilts, don’t be surprised if No. 37 is a contributor — if not starter in the slot.