SPORTS

Chicago Bears pick UNI's Deiondre' Hall

Cornerback brought back 4 INTs for touchdowns

Iowa State University’s James White (8) is brought down in the end zone by Northern Iowa’s Deiondre’ Hall (1) in the second quarter Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Scott Morgan/Photos for The Gazette)
Iowa State University’s James White (8) is brought down in the end zone by Northern Iowa’s Deiondre’ Hall (1) in the second quarter Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Scott Morgan/Photos for The Gazette)

Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre’ Hall was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of Saturday’s NFL draft.

Hall, a consensus first-team FCS All-American last year, was chosen with the 127th overall pick. He is the 18th UNI player selected in the NFL draft and joins former UNI running back David Johnson, who was picked 86th overall last year by the Arizona Cardinals. Hall is the sixth draft pick under Coach Mark Farley.

Hall told reporters on a conference call that his “competitiveness” and “willingness to work” are his greatest strengths.

“Those are two huge things for me, especially going to the next level,” Hall said. “And my length. That’s another huge thing.”

Perhaps Hall’s best asset is his 34 3/8-inch arms. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He’s either a long press corner or he’s a free safety, depending on your scheme,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said.

“To me he’s a great tackler,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “He’s one of the best tacklers in the secondary of this draft. He’s not going to wow you with big-time pop, but he’s consistent getting guys to the ground.”

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Last year, the 6-foot-2, 199-pound Hall intercepted six passes and returned two for scores. He had four career pick-6s at Northern Iowa. Hall, a Blue Springs, Mo. native, ended his career with 13 interceptions, 241 tackles (16.0 for loss), three sacks, 15 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. He had 82 tackles last season and was invited to the Senior Bowl.

When reporters told Hall he compares favorably with former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, Hall said, “I’ve always loved Charles Tillman.”

“I’ve always kind of tried to model my game after him, just being a ballhawk and getting that ball out,” Hall said. “That was a key emphasis throughout my time at Northern Iowa.”

UNI DRAFT PICKS

1966 — Randy Schultz, RB | Cleveland Browns | 5th round, 74th pick

1966 — Doug Korver, OL | Atlanta Falcons | 18th round, 261st pick

1968 — Ray Pedersen, OL/DL | Baltimore Colts | 17th round, 458th pick

1976 — Bill Salmon, QB | Minnesota Vikings | 10th round, 289th pick

1976 — Mike Timmermans, OL | Green Bay Packers | 17th round, 440th pick

1982 — Steve Sandon, QB | New England Patriots | 11th round, 296th pick

1990 — Bryce Paup, LB | Green Bay Packers | 6th round, 159th pick

1991 — James Jones, DL | Cleveland Browns | 3rd round, 57th pick

1993 — Kenny Shedd, WR | New York Jets | 5th round, 129th pick

1997 — Dedric Ward, WR | New York Jets | 3rd round, 88th pick

1999 — Ty Talton, DB | Detroit Lions | 5th round, 137th pick

2000 — Brad Meester, OL | Jacksonville Jaguars | 2nd round, 60th pick

2001 — Eddie Berlin, WR | Tennessee Titans | 5th round, 159th pick

2002 — Ryan Hannam, TE | Seattle Seahawks | 5th round, 169th pick

2008 — Chad Rinehart, OL | Washington Redskins | 3rd round, 96th pick

2008 — Brandon Keith, OL | Arizona Cardinals | 7th round, 225th pick

2015 — David Johnson, RB |Arizona Cardinals | 3rd round, 86th pick

2016 — Deiondre’ Hall, DB | Chicago Bears | 5th round, 127th pick

Here’s Hall’s NFL.com scouting report:

Strengths: Has the arm length of a left tackle. Long arms are extremely disruptive against 50/50 balls. Uses length to stuff blockers and get into the action. Values run support and tackling and is never shy. Unusually high tackle count for a cornerback (82 this season) and forced three fumbles. Not intimidated by physical receivers from bigger programs. Offers help outside his area if he reads quarterback’s intentions. Closes the deal when he has a shot at an interception finishing with 13 for his career including six this year. Instinctive and aware in thirds coverage and looked comfortable playing from safety slot.

Weaknesses: Sticky inside foot that is slow to react against quick, inside release against press coverage. Lanky body doesn’t come with loose hips. Struggles to open and run with speed when beaten off the line. Recovery speed is below average. Long strider missing stop-­start athletic traits to maintain tight, man coverage. Uses jabs to receivers downfield as safety net that will be called penalties in the pros. Doesn’t have desired bulk and strength as a safety.

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@thegazette.com

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