Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #18 – Cincinnati Bengals – CB Leon Hall

The Cincinnati Bengals may have gotten the steal of the draft so far, having cornerback Leon Hall fall to them in the 18th spot.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

CB Leon Hall Photo Defensive back Leon Hall of Michigan runs the 40-yards dash during workouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) Player Evaluation: Rarely tested by opposing quarterbacks, Hall has shut down opponents the past two years. Struggles against speedy receivers, as was the case against Ohio State this year yet has enough natural skills and cover abilities to quickly break into a starting lineup.


  • Anticipation
    Coverage Awareness


  • Closing Speed
  • Recovery Ability

Biography: Three-year starter awarded varying degrees of All-Conference honors since his sophomore campaign. Senior totals were 45/3/15 after 61/4/9 as a junior.

Pos: Good-sized cornerback with outstanding ball skills. Fluid transitioning to run with opponents, stays with receivers out from breaks and quickly closes on the ball. Displays a sense of timing, reads opponents’ eyes and immediately locates the pass. Consistently positions himself to make a play on the ball. Instinctive, gets vertical to defend the throw and flies around the action.

Neg: Does not show top-end speed or play to his forty time. Not a strong sure-handed tackler.


Hall is an excellent addition and he should push for immediate playing time opposite Jonathan Joseph. He is a physical cover corner who is tough enough to match up with bigger receivers, athletic enough to stay with slot receivers and can make big plays in coverage. Character isn’t a concern, either. Hall hasn’t had any problems off the field and he works hard at improving his game. However, Ohio State fans will be quick to point out that he lacks ideal turn-and-run skills despite his excellent 40 time. The Bengals will have to give him safety help over the top when he lines up opposite a premiere deep threat. But the bottom line here is Cincinnati has done a good job of using the draft to build a potentially excellent secondary.

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