For the fifth consecutive year, SDSU had a player from its football program selected in the NFL Draft. This year, it was Darren Hall, who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 3rd pick in the 4th round and 108th overall.
Lance Zierlien, NFL draft analyst for NFL.com, had projected Hall as a 5th round pick in his pre-draft assessment.
Hall decided to enter the draft after a stellar redshirt junior season at SDSU and looked good during Senior Bowl Week.
Scouts and draft experts raved about his football instincts, ball skills, and tackling ability but believed he was too prone in college to biting on receiver’s fakes and questioned if he had the deep recovery speed to play outside cornerback in the NFL. He may be best suited to play in a zone coverage scheme at the next level to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash named Hall on his 1st team all-Mountain West Conference in 2020, stating that “Hall emerged as one of the top zone coverage corners in the conference last season , and this year  he went from one of the best to the best.”
Relative Athletic Score (RAS), a scouting tool developed by Kent Lee Platte that can “easily and intuitively gauge a player’s athletic abilities relative to the position they play,” rated Hall 8.03 out of 10. The overall metric compiles data on size, speed, explosion, and agility. Hall’s score is very good, ranking 24th out of all eligible cornerbacks in this year’s draft class.
Darren Hall was drafted with pick 108 of round 4 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 8.03 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 354 out of 1790 CB from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/x5Dr1tTSHu #RAS #Falcons pic.twitter.com/nlLYhgsmWB
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021
The last time the Falcons drafted a DB from SDSU, it was Damontae Kazee in 2017 with the 149th pick. Kazee started 34 games for the Falcons in the past four seasons before signing with the Dallas Cowboys in March. The Falcons hope to replicate that success with Hall.
When asked about the Aztec players vying to be selected in the NFL Draft during his press conference on Tuesday, coach Hoke stated that he was “proud of them and the work that they put in and how they performed here…and very, very proud that they represent San Diego State and the Aztecs. It’s always a good feeling when that happens.” He also added that Hall was “probably the guy who has the best possibilities, so we are really excited for him.”
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) May 1, 2021