Breece Hall Adds Missing Dimension to New York Jets Attack – New York Jets Blog
FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Breece Hall was the 18th player on the New York Jets draft board. Based on his sheer talent, he probably should have been rated higher, according to team officials, but the rating was responsible for running backs being devalued.
When round two started and Hall was still available, the Jets were stunned and hopeful at the same time. They traded a fifth-round pick to the New York Giants to move up two spots and take him 36th overall. It could turn out to be General Manager Joe Douglas’ best draft day trade.
Hall, who has been fielded as RB1 for the past few weeks, has compiled 488 yards from scrimmage in five games, which ranks 11th among all players in the NFL. His monster performance in the Jets’ 40-17 win over the Dolphins (97 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards) set a franchise record for total yards by a rookie, the highest for any Jets player since beating Isaiah Crowell’s 231 yards the Denver ran back Broncos in 2018.
“We appreciate him a lot,” security guard Laken Tomlinson said of Hall. “If he can walk like that, we can go far in this league.”
Hall’s ability to go a long way is a big reason they drafted him. At Iowa State, he notched a touchdown in an FBS-record 24 straight games, including 20 points last season, along with 1,472 yards and a 5.8 average. The Jets’ scouts viewed him as a threat in his own right, a dimension lacking on offense last season.
“He had a couple of home runs [Sunday]’ said coach Robert Saleh.
Hall’s 79-yard reception, the second-longest in Jets history for a running back, was like a blast from Aaron Judge-ian. He caught a 19-yard pass on a wheel route and hit the gas pedal, hitting a top speed of 20.72 mph — the ninth fastest for a running back on a rush or reception this season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He nearly scored but couldn’t shake cornerback Kader Kohou, who was hanging for his life by Hall’s left ankle. Hall eventually went down at the 1-yard line.
Hall is the third-best receiver on the team with 17 catches for 213 yards and one touchdown. He has a 724-yard pace, which would break the franchise record for a running back set by Johnny Johnson (641 yards) in 1993. It’s been a long time since they had a dynamic double threat in backcourt. You have to go back to Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (1998-2005), who once had 508 yards in a season.
“Bree has gone mad [on Sunday]’ said offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. “We’ve seen what he can do in college. He has definitely carried that over to the league so far. … It’s cool when he comes [the ball] because the whole stadium goes ‘Brieeeee!’ That’s a cool thing to hear as the O-Line.”
Hall is a cousin of former San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champion Roger Craig, a three-time Super Bowl champion who, in 1985, became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and receive 1,000 yards in the same season. In May, Craig told ESPN, “I see him doing 1,000-1,000s in the pros — running 1,000 yards and catching 1,000 yards. He has the tools and I like his playstyle. He runs the ball, he catches it on the backfield, he blocks. He does everything like me.”
The rookie hesitated early in the season, waiting too long to plant and prune in the top field. The coaches told him he needed to focus more on the north-south run and less on the east-west run. After the Week 4 win in Pittsburgh, when he rushed for 66 yards and the game-winning touchdown, Hall told offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur in the locker room that he was starting to find his groove.
He certainly had it against the dolphins.
“The coaches are just always telling me to get the little things right and my natural ability will take over and that goes back to college,” Hall said.
The Jets have two good backs in Hall and Michael Carter, and they’re starting to spend some time together. They’ve been used in tandem in seven games each in the last two games, including Hall’s 79-yarder and two subsequent touchdowns. Because of their versatility, they weigh heavily on defense.
“It’s really cool to be on the field like that in two-back situations,” Carter said. “You don’t see that every day. It’s not something every team can do. There’s probably only a handful of teams that can even do that. It’s cool to be so diverse.”