Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive tackle P.J. Hall finds himself on the roster bubble this summer.
The Las Vegas Raiders went into the offseason with a clear focus on bolstering what was a disappointing defensive unit in 2019. And now that the dust has settled, they seem to have done a pretty good job accomplishing their goal.
The Raiders added players to all three phases of the defense in both free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft. Some of the more notable names include prized free-agent signing Cory Littleton and first-round pick Damon Arnette.
Of course, with new faces comes increased competition and the addition of this added talent in the offseason could spell bad news for some of the more underwhelming members of the roster.
And one player who finds himself on the roster bubble this summer after filling a starting role in 2019 is defensive tackle P.J. Hall.
A second-round pick back in 2018, Hall has been somewhat underwhelming through his first two NFL seasons. While he hasn’t particularly been bad, he also hasn’t done much to stand out to this point.
Hall filled a rotational role in 2018 starting six of 14 games playing just south of 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. His role would increase slightly in 2019 as he would start 12 of 16 games while playing around 52 percent of defensive snaps.
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Yet, despite being on the receiving end of a good amount of playing time in the Raiders’ defensive line rotation, Hall hasn’t shown enough to convince the team that he’s a part of the future.
P.J. Hall just hasn’t lived up to expectations with the Raiders.
In 30 career games, Hall has amassed just 1.5 sacks and eight QB hits providing little as a pass-rusher. He’s been slightly more productive as a run-stopper with his 67.3 run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus being evidence of that.
However, it’s clear that he’s been nothing more than an average run-defender and a below-average pass-rusher. That simply isn’t going to cut it — not after the team continued to bolster their interior defensive line depth in the offseason.
Fellow 2018 NFL Draft pick Maurice Hurst will return and so too will veteran Johnathan Hankins. But this year they’ll be joined by free-agent signing Maliek Collins who promises to begin the year ahead of Hall on the depth chart.
Hall isn’t a guaranteed goner, but he’ll have to impress the coaching staff this summer to convince them that there’s some untapped potential to his game that hasn’t shone through yet.
After all, Hall was considered to be a project player coming out of Sam Houston State in 2018. His athleticism drew comparisons to the likes of Aaron Donald and Grady Jarrett in the pre-draft process.
Clearly Hall hasn’t fulfilled those lofty expectations.
But the talent is there and he’ll have every incentive to finally breakthrough in his third NFL season. Because if he doesn’t, his spot on the roster could be in jeopardy.
It’s now or never for P.J. Hall.