Breece Hall stepped in as the starter for the Iowa State Cyclones in the year when David Montgomery left for the NFL. By comparison, the two backs played three seasons there, and Montgomery rolled up 3,507 total yards and 26 touchdowns. Hall turned in a total of 4,675 yards and 56 scores.
Hall exploded as a dynamic back in his second season when he was the leading rusher in the FBS (1,572 yards) and was the first running back since LaDainian Tomlinson to run for over 100 yards and score in seven straight games to start a season. He racked up 1,472 rushing yards last season with a lofty 5.8 yards per carry as the Cyclone’s primary weapon. Hall was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021.
Weight: 217 pounds
40 time: 4.39 seconds
He enters the NFL draft with a throw-back style of resume, having been a prolific rusher and workhorse, who also proved himself as a worthy receiver when the occasion arose.
Table: Breece Hall NCAA stats (2019-2021)
|Year||Team||Games||Runs||Yards||Avg.||TD||Catch||Yards.||TD||Total Yards||Total TDs|
- Consummate rusher with prototypical size, great vision and instincts
- Patient runner that makes use of blockers and then is gone with one cut
- Vertical runner that can pick up tough yards in the interior and advance to the second level
- 4.39 40-time includes burst and an elite second gear
- Devastating runner and capable receiver for a complete package
- Big-time wheels – five 75+ yard touchdowns in college
- Drops pads and absorbs contact without loss of balance
- Workhorse that never has to leave the field
- Highly durable even with heavy workload
- Exactly 800 touches over three seasons, so higher mileage
- Less adept at lateral cuts and moves
- Will need to work on pass protection skills
- Patience can lead to getting caught behind line
This is the guy.
He’s very likely to be the first running back selected in the NFL draft and the first rookie runner taken in fantasy drafts. There may be no position in fantasy football that is over-drafted more than a rookie running back, but Hall could meet expectations depending on where he lands.
He offers a three-down, power-back ability that doesn’t need a committee around him. This is considered a down year for running backs and the position may not be drafted until the second round, but Hall will be among the first called and likely before the others.
A speedy rusher that can move the pile or break through it with a vertical style of running is the sort of thing that can deliver immediately in the NFL. Hall can catch the ball, but only as a function as a running back drifting to the flat or snagging a screen pass.
The expectation is that he’ll likely show up at the start of the second round of the NFL draft but may end up near the end of the first if a team moves up. That means that any of the 32 teams will have a shot at the Cyclone’s star.
The teams with the biggest apparent need at running back are the Falcons and Texans, but their offensive lines and overall outlook are not ideal for a running back looking to get 15 to 20 touches per game. The Bills could consider him and that would set fantasy drafts on fire.
Last year, Najee Harris went to a weaker Steeler team with a declining offense and blockers and still was taken in the second round of fantasy drafts and ended Top-3 in most fantasy scoring. Hall has that sort of potential, especially if he ends up on an above-average offense that will use him like Harris was (307 carries, 74 receptions).
Much relies on where he lands and the opportunity there. But don’t expect Hall to be a bargain in a fantasy draft. He’ll be one of the “sleeper” darlings for the summer.