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NFL Draft: Breece Hall could make a fantasy impact — if he lands on the right team

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Welcome to the 2022 edition of the Fantasy Football Rookie Snapshot NFL draft series! In this space, fantasy football expert Liz Loza will analyze the incoming class of first-year stars and gauge their impact — be it immediate or latent — on our fake football game.

First up, the running backs, led by Iowa State star, Breece Hall.

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Size: 5-foot-11 and 217 pounds

Age: 20-years-old (5/31/2001)

Bio: A four-star recruit ranked inside the top-150 players at the position out of high school, Hall received 22 scholarships and interest from numerous big-name schools, including Michigan and Oklahoma. But the Wichita native only scheduled one visit, committing to Iowa State and immediately filling David Montgomery’s shoes as a true freshman. From 2019 through 2021, Hall strung together a storied college career, becoming the first unanimous All-American in Cyclone history as a sophomore, and setting a new NCAA record for scores in consecutive games (24) this past season.

Pros: Highly productive (3,941 rushing yards over his three years as Cyclone), patient, built for a workhorse role

[Running Back Snapshots: Hall | Walker | Spiller]

Cons: Limited technique as a pass protector, high odometer reading (800 touches in college)

The Big Picture

What Hall lacks in twitch, he makes up for in patience and savvy. He’s an opportunistic runner who has the confidence and intelligence necessary to outwit defenders while accurately identifying emerging holes. He knows how to find daylight and race towards it, breaking arm tackles and dragging dudes with him. Hall is strong, but his running style isn’t overtly powerful. There’s finesse to his game, which is often illustrated via spin moves and changes in tempo.

Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) is a top NFL draft running back prospect
Breece Hall is one of the top NFL draft prospects available at the running back position. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The subtleties of his skill set can be overshadowed by his stats. Falling forward (which he did with regular aplomb) into the end zone 50 times certainly speaks to Hall’s “nose for the end zone.” It doesn’t, however, fully express the swaths of turf he eats — or the long speed with which he devours said turf — as he dashes to the promised land. Nor does it acknowledge the progress he made as a pass-catcher, regularly flashing ace receiving potential over his final college campaign.

NFL Comp: DeMarco Murray

The Fantasy Fit

Hall put any concerns about his athleticism to rest at the Combine, recording speed and burst scores well inside of the 90th percentile. His showing in Indy certainly solidified his standing as one of the top two backs in the 2022 class. The draft isn’t shallow on RB depth, but there are a handful of squads that could immediately benefit from Hall’s every-down potential.

Chief among them was the Buccaneers. I daydreamed endlessly about Hall’s cut-and-goooooo style synched up with Bruce Arians’ scheme. But TB is running it back at running back and re-signed Leonard Fournette to a three-year deal. Given Hall’s limitations as a protector, the team’s apparent reticence makes sense.

A top-25 fantasy fit isn’t wholly lost for Hall, though. Instead of settling in Central Florida, the rookie could head south to Miami. The threat of Chase Edmonds (along with Tua Tagovailoa’s shortcomings) certainly caps Breece’s potential volume, but working in Mike McDaniel’s run-friendly offense while also calling dibs at the goal line would pay dividends. Now that the Phins have traded their top two picks to acquire Tyreek Hill, however, the situation is less likely.

The Texans and the Falcons (both teams have five picks over the first three rounds) remain in play, but with so many holes to fill it’s hard to confidently project him to either squad.

Still, Hall’s talent will command respect and volume … eventually. Be sure to keep tabs on his landing spot.

Engage with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF