No Detroit Lions player from the 2019 team came out of nowhere more than wide receiver Marvin Hall. Not only did he start the year on a different team, but when he was added to the roster early in the season, no one paid much attention.
However, no one made more of an impact in a limited role than Hall. He quickly became a fan favorite simply for the handful of huge plays he made despite barely getting any playing time.
The question now is: can he keep it up? Let’s take a closer look into Marvin Hall and his potential heading into 2020.
Expectations heading into 2019
Marvin Hall spent training camp and the preseason with the Chicago Bears. When the Lions first added Hall to their practice squad right after roster cut downs, it was a footnote to the Lions adding quarterback Chad Kanoff at the same time. Given Detroit’s faith in their top three receivers, there weren’t many expectations for Hall to really ever leave the practice squad.
Actual role in 2019
2019 stats: 9 games (0 starts), 7 catches, 261 yards, 1 TD
PFF grade: 85.4 (Didn’t log enough stats to qualify for ranking—but would’ve been 10th)
Hall only pulled down seven catches for the season, but his contributions felt a lot more impactful than that. He averaged an insane 37.3 yards per reception, with five of his seven receptions gaining at least 34 yards—and all seven of them earning a first down.
He also picked up key receptions on third-and-11, third-and-14, and third-and-15.
Considering he only caught two of his passes after Matthew Stafford was injured—and he wasn’t even active until Week 3— it stands to reason he could have been even more productive last year.
Unfortunately for Hall, his season would end in late November after suffering a foot injury while replacing Jamal Agnew on kick and punt return duties.
Outlook for 2020
Contract status: Signed through 2020
The Detroit Lions didn’t add any direct competition for Marvin Hall’s role. He still remains the speediest receiver on the roster, and potentially the best threat to get open downfield.
However, there is a question about whether Hall’s role on the team is really worth a roster spot. He’s only a subpackage player, and at his peak last year, he was logging just 10-15 snaps per game. He had more than one catch in just a single game last year. Yes, the big plays are nice, but Hall hasn’t shown he can be a consistent threat.
That all being said, Hall should be considered to be a near-roster lock. Hall also provides depth at both returner positions in case the Lions decide to move on from Ty Johnson, Jamal Agnew or both. He has a unique skill set that no other receiver on the team possesses, and with another year under Stafford and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, there is no reason to believe he can’t build upon a solid 2019 season.