Scouting Notes: Andre Hal vs Ole Miss
#23 – CB - Andre Hal vs Ole Miss - 8/29/13
With all the surrounding talent in the SEC, it is easy to see how Andre Hal may have flown a bit under the radar to date. He was impressive in his first year as a starter for the Commodores in 2012, finishing the season with 16 passes defended, including two interceptions in a win over Tennessee. With ideal length, athleticism, physicality, and the ability to close quickly on the football in the air, Hal fits the prototype of the shutdown corner. A strong senior season could place him in the upper echelon of defensive backs heading into the draft process.
Hal spent much of this game matched up with Donte Moncrief, the Rebels’ top receiver (66 receptions for 979 yards and 10 TDs) from a season ago. Left on an island, Hal did an excellent job of staying stride for stride with the vertically explosive wideout in coverage. Moncrief finished the game with five catches for 56 yards, but struggled to get behind the talented senior corner, catching just three passes (was targeted seven times) for eight yards when covered by Hal.
Unable to provide his typical vertical presence in the Ole Miss passing attack, Moncrief did manage to impact the game to some degree as a blocker. After avoiding or fighting through blocks to make a number of stops in the first half, Hal was taken out of plays by the bigger and noticeably more aggressive Moncrief in the second half, helping to provide blocking downfield for Ole Miss slot receivers and tight ends running underneath routes.
Hal finished the contest with seven solo tackles and three pass breakups, displaying excellent speed, instincts, and athleticism in coverage. If he can continue to have these types of shutdown performances against the remaining talented SEC receivers on his schedule, we could see Hal’s stock rise significantly between now and next year’s NFL Draft. He is definitely one to watch closely over the next three months and throughout the process.