3 Quick takes: Tyler Hall’s draft stock on the rise
LARAMIE -- Tyler Hall is the fastest player on the Wyoming football team. That's not debatable anymore.
John Okwoli, who is the second speediest Cowboy, gave the unofficial crown to his teammate Tuesday afternoon after Wyoming's Pro Day in Laramie.
"I'll give it to him," Okwoli laughed. "He's fast."
Twenty-three NFL scouts in Laramie got a firsthand view of the show.
Hall reportedly ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. The school -- and scouts -- didn't share official numbers. It didn't take a stopwatch to see that Hall might have worked his way into a legit position in April's draft.
Not only was Hall's blazing speed on full display, he also showed some strength, lifting 225 pounds 17 times, one shy of linebacker Cassh Maluia. Surrounded by his Wyoming teammates and scouts, Hall -- all 5-feet, 10-inches and 190 pounds of him -- also jumped out of the High Altitude Center with a 38-inch vertical. Only Alijah Halliburton fared better with a 38.5.
In speaking to one NFL scout, who asked that his name or team affiliation not be shared, Hall's speed and athleticism could set him apart when it gets to the mid-to-later rounds of the draft.
By his own standards, 2019 wasn't a great year on the field for the speedster from Hawthorne, California. He finished with 37 tackles and picked off just one pass. It was a big one -- a 72-yard pick-six to help lift the Cowboys to a road win at Texas State in Week 2.
Hall had to fill in for plenty of missing parts in the Wyoming secondary, including the unexpected departure of three-year starter Antonio Hull. CJ Coldon went down with a leg injury against Idaho in Week 3, and Allen Smith was dismissed from the program.
A concussion sustained against Tulsa also set the senior back. He was one of the most dynamic kick returners in the league before the injury with two kick returns for touchdowns on his career resume. The injury, coupled with the lack of depth at the cornerback position, took Hall out of commission until late in the season.
This wasn't Hall's first time showing off his abilities in front of NFL personnel. In late January, he played in the Collegiate Bowl, a post-season all-star game.
Hall did nothing but vault his draft stock Tuesday afternoon. He looked the part in every way, aside from getting turned around by a couple of long balls in a passing drill.
Speed and potential are two major factors when it comes to getting a shot.
Hall has that in spades.
Maluia, Halliburton have nice outings
Halliburton didn't have a clue what his 40-yard dash time was two weeks ago. He didn't even venture to guess.
"We will see on Pro Day," he said on the Roaring Repeater podcast.
Unofficially, Wyoming's senior safety was around a 4.6. For perspective, Logan Wilson ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Halliburton had the best vertical of the Cowboy seniors and busted out 10 reps on the bench press.
His agent, Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, said he wasn't concerned about that final number. Neither were the New England Patriots representatives. After the workout, they whisked Halliburton into a team meeting room to watch tape and talk X's and O's. You could see that through the window in the door inside the football offices.
Yes, the Patriots take notice when you rack up 130 tackles, 11 for loss, to go along with two interceptions in a season. As they should.
Halliburton not getting an all-star game or combine invite was criminal. He has battled adversity before, he'll just have to do it again.
Maluia was another Cowboy who had a nice showing Tuesday.
He put up a team-best 18 reps on the bench press and finished with a 33-inch vertical. He was pushing so hard in the cone drills he even fell to the turf. He simply did a somersault and went back to try again.
Maluia and Wilson were also taken to private rooms by NFL scouts. Cooper Rothe told me last week that Maluia was the fastest player in his recruiting class way back in 2015. The former high school quarterback from Compton showed glimpses of that speed Tuesday.
Was that a firework?
"Now that was an NFL kick," one scout said after Rothe boomed a 40-plus yarder through the makeshift uprights inside the IPF.
It seriously sounded like one of those little bomb looking fireworks you light and drop in the tube.
"I think I did alright," Rothe said with a smile. "I've never hit the roof before so I can tell I got stronger."
Yes, he hit the roof. Twice.
Rothe's right leg looked as powerful as ever. That's great news for Wyoming's all-time leading scorer. He was also accurate.
Luckily for him, he didn't kick when he gave me my lesson last week. He saved it all for the job interview.