2022 NFL Draft Rookie Profile: Breece Hall (Fantasy Football)
Welcome to the dynasty off-season! With the Super Bowl now in the past, we get to shift our focus to the upcoming NFL draft, which is just two months away. In the coming months, we will be releasing multiple prospect profiles to help you prepare for your dynasty rookie drafts. Next up, I get to break down arguably the best running back prospect in this class – Iowa State’s Breece Hall. After David Montgomery declared for the NFL, Hall claimed the Cyclones’ backfield as a true freshman and never looked back. Since then, he has provided Iowa State with three extremely productive seasons while breaking and achieving multiple records along the way.
Let’s dive into his production profile and tape to give you an idea of just how special Hall can be at the next level.
Editors Note: This article is part of our Rookie Profile series going on until the 2022 NFL Draft. For more on each rookie, check out Andy, Mike, and Jason’s exclusive rookie rankings and production profiles found only in the Dynasty Pass, part of the UDK+ for 2022.
College Production Profile
Breece Hall entered his collegiate career as a 4-star recruit and was tasked with filling David Montgomery’s shoes at Iowa State. As a true freshman, it only took a few weeks for Hall to assert himself as the lead running back for the Cyclones, eclipsing 100 scrimmage yards in seven games that season. He finished his 2019 campaign accounting for 21.4% of his team’s total yards and 20.8% of their touchdowns. As a result, this would give Hall an impressive breakout age of 18.3 – which ranks in the 96th percentile since 2013.
Hall would truly cement himself as one of the top prospects of this class in his 2nd season. In 12 games, he would finish with at least 100 rushing yards nine times, which included a run of eight straight games to start off the season. From a market share standpoint, you can see below that his rushing yards improved significantly to 67.1% while averaging a weighted team dominator rating (80:20 split in favor of yards over touchdowns) of 35.8%. In short, he operated as a true focal point for the Cyclones in 2020. And as if that season was not impressive enough, he would top that with a more dominant 2021 campaign. As a junior, he would improve his team dominator rating to 37.04%, while breaking an NCAA record of 24 consecutive games scoring a rushing touchdown. In addition, Hall also set a career-high 9.4% receiving yards market share in his final season, proving that he is more than capable of being a dual-threat weapon in the NFL.
Lastly, I want to highlight a metric called Total Yards per Team Play. This metric has a strong correlation to success in the NFL for running backs, highlighting a player’s collegiate production relative to their team’s offense. Since 2015, there are only 6 running backs drafted in the first two rounds to average at least 1.85 Yards per Team Play in their collegiate career:
Assuming Breece Hall is drafted in the second round, he would become the 7th running back to join this elite list of productive prospects. Needless to say, Hall is the most complete running back in this class and is in an elite company when it comes to his efficiency and production at the collegiate level.
40-yard dash (HS)
Unfortunately, we do not have any official data on Breece Hall’s athletic measurables as his high school metrics are not available on any of the major recruiting sites. Hopefully, come March, we should have more details from the combine or his pro day. In the meantime, be sure to purchase our UDK+, which includes the Dynasty Pass. Player measurables will be posted there as soon as they are available! Speaking of the Dynasty Pass, per our Production Profile database, the ideal height and weight combo of a potential top-12 running back are 5’11” and 219 lbs. Clearly, Hall passes those thresholds with flying colors. And based on what I saw on film, Hall has the size to withstand the workload of a true three-down running back, while possessing enough speed and quickness to succeed in the open field. More on that later in his film evaluation!
What’s on Tape
If you followed along with my weekly Dynasty Report, you might already be familiar with my film-evaluation process. In short, I try to watch 4 to 6 games, taking notes on every offensive snap for that player in each of those games.
Games Viewed: 2020 vs Oklahoma State, 2020 vs Texas, 2020 vs TCU, 2021 vs Texas, 2021 vs Iowa, 2021 vs Baylor
1. Hall’s patience and vision as a rusher are some of his most impressive traits
Two of Breece Hall’s strongest attributes are his patience in the backfield and his ability to quickly process the situation at the line of scrimmage. He always operates at his own pace and rarely is ever rushed (no pun intended). And instead of scripting his movements prior to the snap, Hall does an outstanding job of waiting for the blocking to develop, reading the defense, and reacting to what’s in front of him. Even when the play has seemingly collapsed, he often finds a way to create positive yardage, either by bouncing it outside or shifting laterally to avoid defenders. In the clip below, you will see some of these traits on full display. By the time he receives the handoff, Hall’s running lane has already closed. Instead of pushing for yardage through contact, Hall weaves his way to the outside. From there, we see a quick hesitation move that briefly freezes the safety (#42), allowing him to gain positive yardage. What should have been a 5-yard loss became a 5-yard gain due to Hall’s vision and adaptiveness.
2. Hall was effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations
This should not come as a surprise due to his prototypical size as a running back, but Hall was an effective option at the goal-line for Iowa State. Whenever they found themselves inside the 10, more often than not, Hall would be the go-to option. Combining his vision, toughness, and explosive one-cut ability, a goal-line run with Hall frequently resulted in a touchdown. This should bode well for his immediate fantasy outlook as teams should be able to rely on him in the red zone. So even if his efficiency does not immediately translate into the NFL, hopefully, a healthy dose of red zone opportunities will keep him fantasy-relevant throughout his rookie year.
3. Breece Hall’s footwork and speed variation allow him to manipulate defenders and create yards
I alluded to this earlier when discussing Hall’s vision as a rusher, but Hall is exceptional at adapting to the defense in front of him. Using his quick, shifty footwork and ability to decelerate/accelerate at the right moment often led to some impressive runs. One of his favorite moves is a stutter-step hesitation where he freezes the defender just long enough to explode past them with one decisive cut. However, it might not always be a flashy move that allows him to break into open space. At times, Hall would just use a subtle – yet timely – lateral shift to make defenders miss. Below is one of my favorite plays from Hall’s film, which highlights some of his footwork and quickness. He paces himself throughout the whole play while using a variety of moves to evade multiple defenders. Once he sees the open field, he accelerates for the first down.
What’s Not on Tape
1. Versatility as a Receiver
When watching Hall’s film, you might notice the lack of versatility as a receiver. While I did see him occasionally run a crossing or seam route, the majority of his receptions came on simple flat routes or dump-off passes. And the few times I saw him lining up out wide, he was used as a blocker for a wide receiver screen. Part of this is likely due to Iowa State’s offense, and may not necessarily be indicative of his route running ability or contribution as a versatile receiver. He may have the skillset to be a more advanced route runner at the next level; he has just never received those opportunities at Iowa State. From a fantasy standpoint, even the short passes will generate PPR points – which is ultimately what matters for dynasty managers. Keep in mind that Hall still accounted for 7.47% of his team’s receiving yards despite his limited opportunities. So while he was restricted to several short receptions throughout his collegiate career, Hall is more than capable of being a serviceable receiver in the NFL.
2. Consistency as a Pass Protector
One of Hall’s weaknesses is his consistency in pass protection. And while this trait may not generate any fantasy points at the next level, being a reliable pass protector for his quarterback will allow him to remain on the field in third-down situations. However, in the games that I reviewed, there were a few occasions where Hall missed his assignment or was far too easily beaten despite his 220 lb frame. But considering his size and quickness, he is absolutely capable of being an effective blocker at the next level. I do see this as a trait that can be developed, especially since Hall has the toolbox and frame to be consistently successful in this facet of the game.
2022 Fantasy Outlook
In short, Breece Hall has the most complete profile of any running back in this class. He produced as a true freshman while improving every single year at Iowa State. In addition, his career market share and efficiency numbers are some of the best we have seen over the last 10 draft classes. Couple his elite analytical profile with his projected early second-round draft capital (per the NFL Mock Draft Database), and it would not surprise me if Hall winds up having the most successful career of any running back in this class. Of course, this will also depend on his landing spot, but it is absolutely within the realm of possibilities that Hall finishes within the top-24 at his position as soon as this season. Especially if he lands on a team like the Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons, Hall should have no issues claiming the lead RB role, likely leading to a very productive start to his NFL career.