Strengths: DeAngelo Hall may be the best athlete anyone has ever seen at Virginia Tech - and oh by the way that list of athletes includes Michael Vick Ė and now D-Lo is ready for the rock as a two-way superstar. For the man who set the schoolís standard with a 4.15 forty time earlier this year, Hall is ready to line up this fall at wide receiver, in addition to his duties as a shutdown cornerback and incendiary punt returner.
As you wipe the drool from your lower lip after reading that forty time, it should be noted that Virginia Tech seems to regularly over-hype the forty times of its football players. Hallís impressive sprint was on the schoolís notoriously fast track and timed with a hand-held watch. Regardless, heís still blazes fast and should easily post a 4.3 time if given the chance at the combine.
Hall has all the physical tools. In addition to the wheels that make his closing speed so wicked fast, he has a 38-inch vertical and is a willing tackler. Though he may have dropped a couple sure interceptions last year, Hall proved his hands worthy in spring drills working as a wide receiver.
A former high school running back, Hallís pigskin instincts give him the know-how to handle a football once he gets those mitts on one. He tied for fourth on the team among non-kickers in scoring last year, returning an interception and a couple punts for touchdowns.
Areas for Concern: Hall missed a couple games late in the 2002 season due to back spasms. Though he stayed healthy all spring save for a minor wrist sprain, coaches still couldnít keep from holding their collective breath anytime Hall hit the floor belly-up.
Despite all the football instincts Hall possesses once he has a football in his hands, he needs to show better run-pass recognition. He is an aggressive player, but he should be aware of more than just his assignment in order to support the run defense.
Though the Hokie coaches inexplicably didnít use Hall to cover Pittsburghís Larry Fitzgerald last November when the frosh phenom caught three touchdown passes, Hall did cover Houstonís own Andre Johnson in a game a few weeks later against Miami. It was Hallís first full game back from back spasms, and he had more than a dozen tackles on the day, but it was Johnson who had the better day of the two, amassing nearly 200 receiving yards.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? D-Lo has been running smack since he first arrived at Blacksburg, and the Texans need someone who can have that kind of confidence and can be able to back it up on Sundays. Though itís doubtful the Texans would ever consider him on offense, special teams might be another story. Hallís 16-yard average on punt returns could be an added bonus.
Mock knew he liked what he saw, but 4.15 speed?