One of the most interesting storylines to follow surrounding the Detroit Lions this year has to be the rise of wide receiver Marvin Hall Jr.. The receiver failed to make the Chicago Bears 53-man roster at the start of the season and was snatched up by Detroit’s practice squad. After a few weeks, he earned a place on the active roster and has been an interesting weapon for the team ever since.
He was active for the team’s Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but did not truly feature in the offense until Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hall has a been a pleasant surprise since then. He has caught five passes in four games for an astronomical 202 yards—an average of 40.2 yards per reception. While he has not caught enough passes to count to qualify for basic statistic rankings, that is an outstanding level of production, especially for a player picked up off of the scrap heap.
Today we are looking at all five of his receptions thus far, and seeing what happened, and how it happened.
First, let’s look at each play:
Week 4 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
2nd quarter 5:01, 1st and 10, Lions 35, 13 yard reception
4th quarter 3:31, 1st and 10, Chiefs 43, 34 yard reception
Week 6 vs. Green Bay Packers
1st quarter 11:12, 1st and 10, Lions 26, 58 yard reception
Week 7 vs. Minnesota Vikings
3rd quarter 5:22, 1st and 10, Lions 23, 47 yard reception
Week 8 vs. New York Giants
1st quarter 2:39, 3rd and 15, Giants 49, 49 yard touchdown reception
One thing that obviously jumps out on these plays is speed. Hall is fast and can usually get at least a half step on defensive backs, even when they have a cushion. While the receiver has great straight line speed, he does not have much else. He also takes some time to accelerate off the line of scrimmage and does not have a second gear to his after making the catch.
He gives the team the speed it desperately needs at receiver, but his lack of ability to do anything other than run in a straight line will prevent him from ever being more than an occasional contributor to this offense.
Detroit is hoping that they can still get a few more big plays out of the receiver, and he has definitely exceeded anything production anyone could have hoped for from the 26-year-old receiver.