Why Undrafted?: Emanuel Hall

Why Undrafted?: Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Five years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Three years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

Missouri’s Emanuel Hall was one of the most physically gifted wide receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. The 6-foot-1, 201-pounder has good size and elite speed to take the top off of defenses. Hall can stretch a team vertically and is a threat to score on any reception. At the combine, he ran the 40 in sparkling 4.39 seconds, and that workout looked like it could help to ease some of the doubts from Hall missing a lot of time during his senior year. In 2018, Hall made 37 receptions for 828 yards and six touchdowns (22.4 average). As a junior, he averaged 25 yards per reception with 817 yards and eight touchdowns coming on only 33 catches. Hall gave SEC secondaries a ton of problems, and he showed special ability in college.

Team sources say there were a few reasons why Hall went undrafted. Teams had concerns about Hall’s personal makeup and some off-the-field issues. There also were concerns about his toughness and willingness to play when he was less than 100 percent. On top of those issues, Hall has a sports hernia injury that also played a role in his going undrafted. His future team has to decide whether he misses practice and plays through the injury with pain, something he has struggled to do, or has surgery and goes out for some time. Thus, it was a combination of all of those factors that led to Hall going undrafted.

After falling through the draft, Hall signed with the Chicago Bears, which was a mixed landing spot. He chose the Bears because of his relationship with their wide receivers coach Mike Furrey, but Hall faces a tough depth chart to earn a roster spot. Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and the newly signed Cordarrelle Patterson are veterans who are all but assured of roster spots. Chicago also drafted Riley Ridley in the fourth round, and he was a steal there, so Ridley also looks like a lock to be on the team. That leaves one, maybe two roster spots available for Hall to stick with the team. Hall has to beat out some other young players, and while that looks very feasible, it will be tough for Hall to get playing time even if he makes the team with all that veteran talent. Hall has an excellent skill set and says going undrafted has him supremely motivated, and that motivation is going to have to carry him through to working hard and staying on the field to earn playing time over more established veterans.

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