With the 164th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected Jaren Hall, quarterback, BYU. Hall was ranked 168th on the industry consensus board and the 9th ranked quarterback.
The Vikings acquired this pick in a trade down with the 49ers on night two of the draft.
Hall is a smaller than ideal quarterback at 6’0”, 207 pounds, but otherwise has great athletic measures for the position. Hall also reportedly scored 93% (elite) on the S2 cognition test which measures how fast and accurately you process information, among other things. From the limited history of quarterback performance among those who’ve taken the test, scoring well (over 90%) doesn’t guarantee success as a quarterback in the NFL, but not scoring well (under 80%) has been a conclusive negative indicator.
Hall is an older rookie at 25 years old, as is often the case with BYU graduates as they often do two-years of LDS mission work during their college career, which Hall completed in 2016-17. Hall also had a medical red-shirt year in 2020 due to a hip injury.
Hall served as the backup quarterback to Zach Wilson his first two seasons, then took over as starter following a medical red-shirt year in 2020 and served as a team captain. Hall was also a dual-threat quarterback, and BYU used him in designed runs. He had over 300 yards rushing in each of his last two seasons, averaging around 4.5 yards per carry.
PFF Profile and Stats
A few of the leading media scouting reports on Jaren Hall...
Dane Brugler, The Athletic
BACKGROUND: Jaren Hall, the second of five children, grew up in Spanish Fork (just south of Provo) and was a multi-sport standout throughout his childhood. He enrolled at Maple Mountain High School, where he was a three-year letterman at quarterback. As a junior, Hall was named first team All-Region with 2,375 passing yards and 17 total touchdowns (16 passing, one rushing). He earned honorable mention All-State honors as a senior and led Maple Mountain to the 2015 playoffs, recording 1,336 passing yards and 17 total touchdowns (13 passing, four rushing). Hall finished his prep career with 5,768 total yards and 59 total touchdowns. He also lettered in basketball (averaged 10.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior) and baseball (first team All-State as a junior and senior, with a .370 batting average, eight home runs, 54 RBI and 29 stolen bases).
A three-star recruit, Hall was the No. 20 dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class and the No. 6 recruit in Utah. He was lightly recruited and committed to BYU over Utah. A few weeks after his high school graduation, Hall moved to Roseville, Calif., where he served a two-year mission as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He joined the BYU football team in 2018 and served as Zach Wilson’s backup in 2019 and 2020. Hall also played as an outfielder on the BYU baseball team in 2019 and 2020 and posted a .245 batting average, two home runs and 11 RBI over 30 games. Hall married his wife (Breanna) in December 2019 and they welcomed their daughter (Jayda) in July 2021. Jaren’s father (Kalin) was a junior college All-American at Dixie College before transferring to BYU, where he combined for 1,359 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns over two seasons (1992-93). Jaren’s mother (Hollie) was a gymnast at BYU (1993). Kalin and Hollie were married in June 1993. Jaren’s older brother (KJ) played running back at BYU (2015-17). His younger brother (Dawsen) is currently an outfielder on the BYU baseball team. His younger brother (Kyson) is currently a wide receiver at BYU and just finished his freshman season in 2022. Hall accepted his invitation to the 2023 Senior Bowl.
STRENGTHS: Athletic and quick-footed … very efficient in the RPO game and on play-action-boots … spins the ball well on the move and his arm strength looked better on his 2022 tape … controlled mechanics in the pocket or in motion, with a clean, compact release … displays workable ball placement on pitch-and-catch and bucket throws … cunning as a scrambler and when buying time (sacked just 12 times in 2022) … fully functioning internal clock and not afraid to throw the ball away (7.6 percent of his attempts in 2022 were throwaways, which ranked No. 2 among qualifying FBS quarterbacks) … well-built and strong for his shorter stature … mature and married with a family (Blake Freeland: “He’s very selfless and a great leader.”) … competitive, multi-year team captain and was raised to be a leader.
WEAKNESSES: Shorter than ideal with a history of injuries … inconsistent deep-ball accuracy and his receivers are often waiting for the football … accuracy suffers when forced to reset his feet/eyes on the move … when he misses, it is usually high … it will be tougher for him to make defenders miss in the NFL than it was in college … needs to take better care of the football, having accounted for more fumbles (13) at BYU than interceptions (11) … his durability is a question mark: missed five games in 2019 because of multiple concussions; redshirted in 2020 because of a hip injury; missed two games as a junior with a rib/core injury (September 2021); missed time as a senior because of a right ankle injury (November 2022) … turns 25 before draft weekend.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at BYU, Hall was a multi-sport athlete for the Cougars and played in offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick’s balanced scheme. The first African-American starting quarterback in school history, he replaced Zach Wilson and posted an outstanding 51-to-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio the past two seasons. A compactly-built athlete with strong character, Hall is poised in the pocket and a smooth operator on the move to make plays with his arm or legs. He won’t benefit from as many scheme-winners at the next level and will need to improve his passing anticipation to push the ball versus NFL defenses. Overall, Hall is a cerebral, dual-threat passer with above average control and efficiency in his process, but his average arm talent, short stature and injury history are potential roadblocks. He has NFL backup potential in an RPO-based, play-action offense.
GRADE: 4th-5th Round
Lance Zierlein, nfl.com
An undersized pocket quarterback with unimpressive arm strength, Hall’s field command gives him a shot to make it at the next level. He throws with excellent ball placement to targets on the move and delivers a feathery soft deep ball with accuracy. His lack of drive velocity creates smaller margins for error and his timing needs to be impeccable to beat NFL man coverage. Hall operates with ideal poise from the pocket. He does an adequate job of reading coverages and getting rid of the ball without taking sacks. The size and arm strength will concern some teams, but offenses operating out of heavy play-action with levels-based route concepts could target him as a solid future backup.
- Plays with poise and confidence you can feel on tape.
- Able to swing through progressions with haste.
- Waits out coverage clearance to make his throw.
- Delivers throws with placement to keep receivers in stride.
- Touchdown-to-interception ratio above 4:1 for his career.
- Above average touch throwing the deep ball.
- Willing to dump off to the safe option if primaries are smothered.
- Comes from a family of athletes.
- Smaller quarterback with limited arm talent.
- Could struggle to make deep sideline throws on time.
- Slow to climb and avoid crashing edges in the pocket.
- Unable to rip the ball into windows.
- Sails throws when forced to throw over tall protection.
- Below average making challenging move throws.
Draft Projection: Round 4-5
NFL Comparison: Gardner Minshew
Greg Cosell, 33rd Team
Background: Hall spent five years at BYU, starting his final two seasons, throwing 51 TD passes and only 11 interceptions. He came of high school in Utah as the 20th-rated dual-threat QB in the class of 2016.
BYU’s passing game concepts did not give Hall many defined reads and throws. There were a lot of individual routes on the outside, and a lot of plays with only three receivers running routes (two outside verticals and an inside in-breaker) with the TE and the running back used to help the OT in pass protection, and therefore not primary receivers in the route concepts.
One concept BYU did feature was flood, and they predominantly got to it with all three routes from the same side. BYU also featured dagger, and Hall made some excellent anticipation throws hitting the dig route.
A 24-yard TD to Puka Nacua versus Boise State was a big-time throw by Hall: Pistol play action turning his back to the defense and then sticking the out cut right on a well-covered Nacua, with precise timing and ball location. Clean pocket allowed Hall to generate torque and weight transfer with his lower body.
Hall made some outstanding throws to Keanu Hill versus Wyoming: Precise ball location on a back shoulder throw, and beautiful go route from the opposite hash for a 68-yard TD.
- Clean drop and set in the pocket, with good footwork and ball carriage. Compact delivery and an easy thrower.
- Loose, live arm in short to intermediate areas of the field. Ball comes out cleanly, with touch and velocity.
- Snaps with excellent pocket patience working progressions late in the down, while being squeezed by pass rush.
- Made big time throws at intermediate levels of the defense outside the numbers and between the numbers.
- Made some outstanding anticipation throws when the route concept was well defined versus the coverage.
- Overall, was precise and consistent with his ball location, especially when he was clean and secure in the pocket.
- Showed efficient pocket movement in response to pressure re-setting his feet and throwing with a firm base.
- Threw the ball easily on the move with good ball placement. Comfortable thrower with an easy snap delivery.
- Showed plus athleticism and mobility to give an offense-designed QB run game and second reaction plays.
- Dual-threat QB, with movement a significant part of his game. He was a play extender as passer and runner.
- Needs to have feet set with a firm base to generate velocity. Arm strength drops on the off-platform throws.
- At times, when first read was not there, he broke down and then tried to reset too fast, resulting in wild high.
- Arm strength average. Looks good throwing in a secure pocket but struggled to drive it when it wasn’t clean.
Hall’s evaluation and projection to the next level will absolutely be a function of who is doing the evaluating and how coaches see him in the context of their specific offense, which is scheme adaptability. That is primarily the way coaches see prospects. Hall is a shorter-than-ideally desired QB, with some arm strength limitations. He cannot drive the ball with needed velocity late in the down from the pocket, with his game built much more on timing and rhythm throws in the short-to-intermediate areas of the defense.
Hall has a quick, compact delivery with no wasted motion, and he showed a good sense of timing, anticipation and consistently precise ball placement in those short to intermediate areas. That is clearly the foundation of his game. While Hall lacks ideal size, he has excellent mobility by design in the boot game and situational called runs (zone read, QB draw) and second reaction to make plays when the structure of the play does not produce the desired result.
When the route concept presents the throw within the timing of the drop and set in the pocket, Hall plays rhythmically with a refined feel for the passing game, and he delivers with confidence generating enough velocity to make the necessary throws. What showed up throughout his tape were examples of Hall making progression-read throws at the intermediate levels of the defense, and that is a trait that he will need to have at the next level.
Overall, Hall has an intriguing mix of arm talent and athleticism, with some limitations as you project him to the next level, but the more I watched Hall, the more I felt he could develop into an efficient starting QB in the right system (run game, defined rhythm throws, RPO elements, play action, boot action) on a team with a quality roster. Right now, as he enters the NFL, Hall has the look and feel of a quality backup QB who can step in and give you some quality starts if needed, depending on the offensive scheme and the overall team structure.
Jaren Hall vs. Oregon (2022)
Jaren Hall vs. Arkansas (2022)
Jaren Hall vs. Baylor (2022)
Jaren Hall vs. Wyoming (2022)
Jaren Hall vs. Utah State (2022)
Jaren Hall vs. Boise State (2022)
BYU Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense (2022)
Jaren Hall’s Fit with the Vikings
Hall appears to have the above-the-shoulders ability, along with accuracy and some dual-threat ability, to compete for the backup quarterback spot against Nick Mullens this off-season. Like any newly drafted quarterback, especially one drafted in the later rounds, it’s unclear whether he will ascend to the level of being a quality starter in the league.
At his best, Hall shows shades of Russell Wilson, but he will face a significant learning curve from the BYU offense to the NFL, and particularly a lot more pressure than he’s faced in the past.
Hall’s immediate task, however, will be to beat out Nick Mullens for the backup QB job. If he’s unable to do that, the Vikings may not want to use a roster spot on him and take their chances with getting him to the practice squad instead.
Success for Hall as a rookie will be to win the backup QB job by the end of training camp. He’ll need to show command of the offense in practice and pre-season, along with the poise, accuracy, and generally good decision-making he showed at BYU. Mullens has not been terrible as a backup, and coaches tend to favor the more experienced player as a backup all other things being equal, so Hall will need to show he’s a better option than Mullens if Kirk Cousins should go down.
What level will Jaren Hall reach in the NFL?
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Top ten in his position
Above average starter
Below average starter
He won’t be a starter