The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and is therefore always hungry for quarterbacks. Not only are teams constantly looking for starting — or even the fabled “franchise” — quarterbacks, but they’re also always on the lookout for reliable back-ups.
One of the biggest nightmares for a team is the potential long-term loss of their starter due to injury. An injury to your starting quarterback can sink your season and get people fired. However, having a reliable back-up in place can save a team’s season and save a GM’s job.
BYU quarterback Jaren Hall was considered a sleeper early in 2022, with the potential to be one of the top passers in this draft class. He never quite realized that potential and more exposure revealed areas in which he still needs development.
But even if Hall never becomes a good starting quarterback, there’s still plenty of demand for a good back-up quarterback.
Prospect: Jaren Hall (3)
Games Watched: vs. Arizona (2021), vs. Baylor (2021), vs. Oregon (2022), vs. Notre Dame (2022)
Red flags: Ankle (2022)
Games Played: 29
Completions: 468 (65.2 percent)
Yards (YPA): 6,174 (8.6 per attempt)
Yards (YPA): 800 (4.4 per attempt)
Total Touchdowns: 61 (52 passing, 9 rushing)
Games Played: 12
Completions: 248 (66.0 percent)
Yards (YPA): 3,171 (8.4 per attempt)
Yards (YPA): 350 (4.1 per attempt)
Total Touchdowns: 34 (31 passing, 3 rushing)
Best: Athleticism, competitiveness, arm talent, ball security
Worst: “NFL” throws, placement consistency
Projection: A reserve quarterback with developmental upside.
BYU’s Jaren Hall has an intriguing blend of athleticism and arm talent as a quarterback prospect.
Hall is slightly undersized for the position at 6-foot, 207 pounds. However, he has the athleticism and mobility to flow in the pocket and minimize the impact of his stature. He is also adept at executing bootleg rollouts to create wide open passing lanes and advantageous angles for receiving windows.
Hall has a very quick and compact release that allows him to get the ball out in a hurry. There’s little wasted energy in his motion and he does a good job of generating power with his lower half and driving the ball down the field. Hall doesn’t have an overpowering arm, but his arm is definitely “strong enough” for the NFL.
He is also a good athlete for the quarterback position. Hall has enough athleticism to extend the play if nothing is immediately open. Likewise, he has plenty of quickness and agility to make defenders miss behind the line of scrimmage as well as the speed to hurt defenses if he pulls the ball down and runs.
By the end of his final season, Hall began to show an understanding of how to use his quickness and body language to manipulate the defense.
Hall has little experience with “NFL” throws, and much of BYU’s passing offense was composed of quick slants, shallow crossing routes, and bubble screens. However, he did throw enough deep fades (and executed them well enough) in college to give confidence that he can execute higher difficulty throws with some development.
Like many BYU prospects, and 2023 prospects in general, Hall is an older prospect and will be 25 on draft day. However, he has relatively little experience as a starter. Hall only really has two full seasons of starting experience with 22 games in 2021 and 2022. While that means he doesn’t have much wear on his body, it also means he hasn’t had the development we’d normally expect from a 25-year old prospect.
Hall can still stand to improve the mental aspect of his game. In particular, he needs to improve his eye discipline, as he can be prone to staring down his intended target. Likewise, he needs to continue to improve his ability to throw with timing and anticipation. He showed improvement there from 2021 to 2022, but that is mostly limited to when he is in rhythm. His anticipation drops dramatically when he’s forced outside the structure of the play. He has the tendency to become a very “see it, throw it” quarterback who waits until his receiver is wide open to make the throw.
Hall also needs to get more consistent with his mechanics, particularly outside the structure of the play. His ball placement and precision can be streaky, which seems to be linked to inconsistencies in syncing up his upper and lower halves.
Finally, Hall needs to improve his field awareness. He can be prone to playing in a silo, holding the ball too long, and not recognizing incoming pressure. He can also fail to recognize players dropping into coverage and clogging passing lanes.
Overall Grade: 6.4
Jaren Hall projects as a reserve quarterback at the NFL level, though he has several intriguing traits which his future team will want to develop.
Hall flashes the ability to throw with good placement and precision down the field, as well as fairly effortless arm strength. He’s very careful about taking care of the ball, and while he doesn’t have experience in a “pro style” offense, he seems to have a solid football IQ. Likewise he has the athleticism to be considered a “dual threat” quarterback, and can make a defense pay for forgetting about him.
Hall will likely begin his career as a QB 3 for most teams, and he’s probably a player teams wouldn’t want to see pressed onto the field as a rookie. However, he could be effective as a primary back-up (with some schematic considerations) with a bit of development. Where he goes from there depends on the situation in which he lands and how much he is able to develop.
Hall still has areas of improvement, and he may never develop into a player who can challenge for a starting job. That said, having a quarterback who can be a reliable back-up is valuable in and of itself.