For the second time in three years, a BYU quarterback was selected in the NFL draft.
This time, it was Jaren Hall going to the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round (No. 164 overall pick) in the 2023 NFL draft on Saturday.
This pick didn’t come with nearly as much fanfare as when Zach Wilson went No. 2 overall to the New York Jets in the 2021 draft.
There was some drama, though, for Hall. Several media experts saw Hall as one of the top quarterbacks available going into the draft’s final day, but he ended up being the seventh quarterback taken on Saturday.
Hall was Wilson’s replacement in Provo and started the past two seasons for the Cougars, leading BYU to an 18-8 record over that span — though he missed a few games due to injuries, including the Cougars’ bowl game this past season.
The 6-foot, 207-pound Hall finished his BYU career completing 65% of his passes for 6,174 yards, 52 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also ran for 798 yards and nine touchdowns, with a 4.41 per-carry average.
His best season from a statistical standpoint came last year, when Hall threw for 3,171 yards, 31 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also ran for 348 yards and three touchdowns and was sacked just 12 times on the year — an average of once per game.
In the 2021 season, his first as a starter, Hall led BYU to a 10-3 record — including six wins over Power Five programs — and helped the Cougars finish the year ranked in the top 20 of the final Associated Press poll.
Hall, a Maple Mountain High product, is the fourth BYU quarterback selected in the NFL draft since the turn of the century.
What experts said about Jaren Hall
“Hall is an undersized quarterback who works through his progressions and creates throwing windows with his footwork. He flashes good anticipation and the ability to deliver the ball before the receiver breaks.” — ESPN’s Steve Muench.
“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.” — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.
“Jaren Hall is a smooth athlete at the QB spot with natural arm talent and quality ball placement. However, he’s an older prospect who wasn’t able to build on a breakout season in 2021.” — CBS Sports scouting report.
What experts said about the selection
“Hall is a 25-year-old, deep-ball chucker and sort of a poor man’s Russell Wilson if you squint at him in the right light. There might not be tremendous upside here, but Hall can give them a developmental placeholder at QB.” — Eric Edholm, NFL.com.
“Has Day 2 flashes as a passer. Quick release. Unafraid to make all the throws and the ball jumps out of his hands. Smooth athleticism in the boot-action game, so there’s a fit with O’Connell’s offense. Locks onto the first read too often and his pocket presence isn’t great. Sensible backup option here.” — Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports.
Vikings get their QB, Jaren Hall, who's known as accurate, mentally sharp and mobile.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 29, 2023
Thought Vikings might be trying for Dorian Thompson-Robinson when they traded earlier in fifth, but Browns took him one spot ahead at 140. Both teams spent a lot of time on DTR.
BYU quarterbacks previously taken in the NFL draft
Year — Player, Round, Pick No., Team
2021 — Zach Wilson, Round 1, No. 2, New York Jets.
2007 — John Beck, Round 2, No. 40, Miami Dolphins.
2002 — Brandon Doman, Round 5, No. 163, San Francisco 49ers.
1995 — John Walsh, Round 7, No. 213, Cincinnati Bengals.
1992 — Ty Detmer, Round 9, No. 230, Green Bay Packers.
1986 — Robbie Bosco, Round 3, No. 72, Green Bay Packers.
1984 supplemental draft — Steve Young, Round 1, No. 1, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1982 — Jim McMahon, Round 1, No. 5, Chicago Bears.
1980 — Marc Wilson, Round 1, No. 15, Oakland Raiders.
1978 — Gifford Nielsen, Round 3, No. 73, Houston Oilers.
1975 — Gary Sheide, Round 3, No. 64, Cincinnati Bengals.
1967 — Virgil Carter, Round 6, No. 142, Chicago Bears.