Former BYU quarterback Jaren Hall says he has no idea which NFL team will draft him, or in which round, when the league’s Player Selection Meeting begins Thursday night in Kansas City and runs through Saturday.

However, the 25-year-old father of 1-year-old Jayda and husband of former Utah Valley soccer star Breanna McCarter Hall has a pretty good idea of the second item he will splurge on when that first NFL paycheck, or signing bonus, does hit his bank account.

“I will kinda pay attention to what happens to those quarterbacks ahead of me (in mock drafts), and just hope for the best. Depending on where they go, it kinda shows what I can expect on Friday and Saturday.” — Jaren Hall

The first big purchase, of course, will be something nice for his wife, Hall told the Deseret News on Tuesday. 

“She’s been a trooper through this whole process,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”

And for him?

Hall said he would like to buy a pair of the new Nike Air Force 1 Dunk Low sneakers that honor Major League Baseball trailblazer Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in MLB when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.

“I am not a big spender,” Hall said. “I am not going to go out and buy a car, or a house or anything like that, by any means. But I’d like a pair of those Jackie Robinson-themed sneakers, if I do get a nice little signing bonus. … Right now they are a little out of my current pay grade.”

The shoes were released last July at a cost of $130, but the latest iterations are considerably more expensive.

The final mock drafts are in. What BYU, Utah and local players are projected to be NFL draft picks?

“More than I would ever want to pay for a pair of shoes, but for that man (Robinson), it is something I’d buy. It is something I really want to get,” Hall said.

Hall is a trailblazer himself. He became the first Black quarterback to start a game for BYU in 2019 when the Cougars faced South Florida in Tampa two weeks after Zach Wilson broke his hand against Toledo.

Hall also played for BYU’s baseball team in 2019 and 2020, as a center fielder. His other love is golf, an activity he had planned for Thursday or Friday to take his mind off the draft possibilities for a few hours.

“I got a new driver last summer, so I should be good there for a few years,” he said of another possible big purchase.

Two days before the draft, Hall described his emotions as “a little excited, a little nervous, a little stressed, but mostly excited.”

Hall is expected to be drafted in the middle to late rounds, somewhere between rounds 4 and 7, meaning he will likely hear his name called Saturday. But after months and months of training, private workouts and interviews with almost every NFL team, he’s not ready to make any predictions.

He’s in the same boat as BYU left tackle Blake Freeland, who was profiled by the Deseret News on Wednesday.

“I also have no clue,” Hall said. “It is funny because me and Blake still train together. We have the same agency so we were out there in Southern California together and it seems like our stories have been almost the same. We have talked to almost every team in the league, but nobody shows their cards. They keep them pretty close to the vest. There are a lot of unknowns right now for both of us.”

Hall planned to watch Thursday’s first round at his apartment, then watch Friday’s second and third rounds at his parents’ home in Mapleton. Same for Saturday’s final four rounds.

“I will kinda pay attention to what happens to those quarterbacks ahead of me (in mock drafts), and just hope for the best,” he said. “Depending on where they go, it kinda shows what I can expect on Friday and Saturday.”

Hall didn’t really have a favorite NFL team growing up in Utah County, but there was a time when he really liked the Baltimore Ravens, but not because of their quarterback. He was a big fan of defenders Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.

“That was the only team I really loved watching,” he said.

The quarterback he kept an eye on the most was Russell Wilson, who also played college baseball — at North Carolina State — before transferring to Wisconsin. Wilson made a name for himself with the Seattle Seahawks and is now with the Denver Broncos.

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“We’re both smaller quarterbacks,” Hall said. “At the time, he was really the first one that was shorter, like myself, to make it in the NFL — after Drew Brees, of course.”

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He called the last four months since he declared for the NFL draft on Dec. 23 “pretty crazy” and left little time for golf or anything else. His most memorable part of the pre-draft process was attending the NFL combine in Indianapolis, although a sprained ankle kept him from doing much.

In one of the many interviews, he was asked how he would describe his life if he had only 30 seconds, like for a movie trailer.

“That wasn’t an unusual question, but it was one that took a little more thought than the others,” he said.

Almost as much as that second “big” purchase.

BYU quarterback Jaren Hall warms up before he runs a drill at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 4, 2023. | Michael Conroy, Associated Press
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