2024 Browns Rookie Draft Profile: Pick No. 54, DT Michael Hall, Jr.

What did the Browns get in Michael Hall, Jr.?
Cleveland Browns, Michael Hall Jr.
Cleveland Browns, Michael Hall Jr. / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

For the third year in a row, the Cleveland Browns went the entire first round without selecting a player in the NFL draft. Most fans were getting antsy wondering what player and position would be selected.

After 53 picks the Browns were finally up and they selected defensive tackle Michael Hall, Jr. out of Ohio State. This was a bit of a homecoming for Hall as he was born in Cleveland and graduated high school in Streetsboro. He's a bit of a smaller defensive tackle and labeled a "3-technique". He played 83.77% of his snaps in the B gap known for excelling rushing the passer from the interior.

Michael Hall, Jr.
20 years old-Redshirt Sophomore 
6'3 290lb 


Hall may be the best interior pass rusher in this draft class. His 18.3% pass-rush win rate and 84.8 pass-rush grade per Pro Football Focus were in the elite percentile among NCAA defensive tackles with at least 300 snaps last season. When watching him rush the passer his hand technique and overall quickness stand out. Any offensive lineman even slightly leaning forward pass or run blocking was met with an immediate swim move. Hall's moves aren't just finesse as he can perform any strong stab move when finding an opposing player's chest. 

He also has a great feeling for the game in real-time. When rushing the passer, he understands what experts call a "natural stir". Meaning when a teammate crosses his face and is out of their rushing lane, he understands and makes an effort to change the gap he is rushing. He also understands pressure when facing double teams and how to split them. When watching the tape you'll often see him feel the backside pressure which led to him staying stout in his gap. 


Hall's biggest weakness ironically enough is shedding blockers in the run game. He does so well getting past opponents when rushing the passer but struggles when a lineman gets into his chest. He isn't necessarily bad against the run, but when moving down the line of scrimmage vs the run, you often see him still engaged with the offensive lineman. 

This led to him often missing out on the tackle or directing the ball carrier to another hole. Hall isn't easily pushed around and will always be around the play in the run game, but, likely, he will only have one arm free to make a tackle.

His only weakness when rushing the passer is how loose he is in his rushing lanes. Hall has zero issues working half a man and blowing by the guy blocking him, but when flipping his hips to clear the blocker he tends to put himself a half-yard out from his original rush lane. 

This may not sound like a big deal, but this leads to poor QB containment. For the Buckeyes last year, Hall only had two sacks off the 29 QB pressures he caused. You can imagine if he tightened his path to the quarterback, his production on the stat sheet would be better. This part of his game has to be cleaned up, as every starting quarterback in the NFL will use the open portion of the rush lane to either step up and throw or worse run for the first down. 

Value at pick No. 54 for the Browns

While some consider this pick to be a bit of a reach, that's unfair considering how the draft had shaken out by pick 54. The Browns could have gotten a WR but everyone they had a second-round grade on were selected by the time it was the Browns turned to pick. Ladd McConkey, Keon Coleman, Adonai Mitchell, and Ja'Lynn Polk were all gone.

Top-tier defenders were selected as well with T'Vondre Sweat, Braden Fiske, and Edgerrine Cooper all selected before 54. Unfortunately, the Browns simply didn't have enough draft capital this year to trade up and according to Zac Jackson of the Athletic, the Browns were exploring trades with several teams before deciding to go with Hall. It's hard to fault the team for this pick considering how many options they explored and what they were left with. 

Overall the grade on the 54th pick is a B. While Hall will take a season or two to be a starter, the fact he excels at pass rushing on the interior will allow him to make an impact as a rotational piece. With Tomlinson, Hurst, Jefferson, and Harris all above him on the depth chart; the Browns don't need him to heavily contribute right away.

His addition will allow the defensive tackle room to rotate more on pass rush situations keeping the defensive front fresh later on in the season. This is a perfect fit for Cleveland as the defensive tackle group got younger and added more depth. 

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