Now that free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft draft are (mostly) behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Atlanta Falcons’ roster heading in to the summer. Outside of a few additions and subtractions here and there in the course of training camp and the preseason, this is the roster Atlanta will be working with during the 2022 season.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the projected starters and players competing for those spots. Next up is cornerback. Perhaps the strongest overall position on the roster, the Falcons return young star A.J. Terrell, slot starter Isaiah Oliver, and 2021 fourth-rounder Darren Hall alongside a number of veteran and UDFA additions.
Next up, second-year corner Darren Hall.
CB Darren Hall
Contract: $1.03M cap hit in 2022, rookie contract through 2024
Career Production: 14 games played, 1 game started | 27 total tackles, 21 solo, 2.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 3.6% MTR | 3 PD, 77.1% completion rate allowed, 115.2 passer rating allowed | 46.3 overall PFF grade
2021 Production: Same as above
Previous Teams: Drafted in the 4th Round (109th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons (2021-present)
From the earliest days of Terry Fontenot’s tenure, it was apparent that retooling the secondary was one of the new regime’s top priorities. The Falcons invested in a number of veterans (Fabian Moreau, Erik Harris, Duron Harmon) and drafted three secondary players—although technically, one just switched to running back (Avery Williams). We’ll get to Richie Grant when we discuss the safeties, but the other selection was fourth-round cornerback Darren Hall.
Hall, who played four seasons at San Diego State, was an interesting selection who made a lot of sense for a Falcons team looking for developmental depth. A natural ballhawk with 25 PD and 6 INT in 30 games as a starter, Hall has strong instincts in zone and plays a physical brand of coverage. He’s also been a plus run defender throughout his career, showing off reliable tackling and an ability to disrupt in the backfield. Hall’s limitations come from a lack of top-end speed and agility, particularly in man coverage, and some relatively undeveloped technique.
In 2021, Hall largely played a depth role. He started one game and played more than 60% of the snaps in three while also factoring in on special teams. Hall showed some flashes of promise playing in the slot, particularly as a run defender, but struggled at times in coverage. Thus far in 2022, Hall has been getting some early run with the starters and appears to be the “first man up” on the depth chart in case of injury. We’ll see how camp shakes out, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Hall grow into a larger role in his second season.
Projection: Darren Hall is in line for a significant rotational and depth role in his second season with the Falcons. Hall’s inside/outside versatility and year of experience in the scheme could make him the “first man up” in case of injury, and he should once again have a sizable special teams role.