Former BYU quarterback Jaren Hall is going through the NFL combine experience this weekend, as he prepares for the 2023 NFL draft at the end of April.
During the media interview portion of his weekend Friday, Hall shared what he learned from another former Cougar signal-caller, Zach Wilson.
“Zach was always the most prepared guy on the field. He’s a guy that cherished the film room. He always had his iPad on him, had plays on it, videos. That guy was invested,” Hall told reporters, per video from College Football Network’s Cam Mellor.
Wilson used a breakout season in 2020 — the year greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — to vault himself into position to be a top draft pick in 2021.
“I was blown away over the couple years of being around him. It helped me and my love for the game, and for my love of preparation to increase. That COVID year, when he broke out and did his thing, that was all preparation. That man worked harder than anybody else,” Hall said.
Jaren Hall on what he learned from Zach Wilson pic.twitter.com/HYgf0DYZfw— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) March 3, 2023
There are a couple big caveats in the pre-draft process that Wilson experienced two years ago and what Hall is going through right now.
Wilson wasn’t able to attend the NFL combine — the 2021 version was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns — and instead relied on his film and BYU’s pro day to make an impression on NFL teams.
Hall, meanwhile, will have the Senior Bowl, the combine and BYU’s pro day to perform in front of NFL front office personnel and scouts.
Wilson was also a more highly regarded prospect than Hall is: Wilson was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, while Hall is projected as a likely Day 3 selection.
Wilson’s level of preparation, though, has stuck with Hall. The two played together at BYU during the 2018 and 2019 season.
“That’s something I took away that I needed to do, be the hardest working and the most prepared guy on the field. At that position, you’ve got to be,” Hall said.
There is uncertainty for both players at this point, though.
Wilson has struggled in his first two seasons as a pro and was benched twice last year. The Jets are seeking to bring in a veteran QB this offseason to help solidify the position, leaving Wilson’s future, and New York’s commitment to developing him, in doubt.
For Hall, his uncertainty lies in where he may be drafted.
This year’s quarterback class includes top prospects like Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Some projections have Hall as a fourth or fifth-round selection, or perhaps even later.
Hall will get his chance to perform in on-field workouts on Saturday at the combine.
Philadelphia Eagles team writer Fran Duffy, in writing about this year’s combine, identified Hall as one of the quarterbacks to watch in these drills.
“Hall faced some injuries halfway through his career with the Cougars, but has since been a healthy contributor to their offense as a very efficient passer with impressive ball placement and touch to all areas of the field. Those traits will serve him well in these drills at Lucas Oil Stadium,” Duffy wrote.