Vikings Trade For Raiders Defensive Tackle P.J. Hall

Will Ragatz

Update: The Vikings announced that Hall failed his physical, nullifying the trade.

Original story:

The Vikings have traded a 2021 conditional seventh-round pick for Raiders defensive tackle P.J. Hall, according to Ian Rapaport. Earlier on Monday, news came out that the Raiders were releasing Hall, but GMs Mike Mayock and Rick Spielman worked out a deal instead.

According to Adam Schefter, the Raiders receive the conditional pick if Hall is on the Vikings' roster for at least six games. "It's basically a tryout with a team that was unlikely to get a shot at Hall on the waiver wire," tweeted Tom Pelissero.

This is an interesting buy-low move for the Vikings, who needed additional depth at defensive tackle after Michael Pierce opted out of the season. Hall was a 2018 second-round pick out of Sam Houston State, but didn't pan out the way the Raiders hoped he would. Still, this is a potentially high-upside addition for the Vikings at a very low cost.

P.J. Hall File

  • College: Sam Houston State
  • Drafted: 2018 second round (57th overall)
  • NFL experience: Two seasons (30 games, 18 starts)
  • Age: 25
  • Size: 6'0", 305
  • 2019 PFF grade: 70.2
  • Career stats: 48 tackles, 8 TFL, 7 QB hits, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended

Hall had an incredibly productive college career at FCS Sam Houston State. He was named first team all-conference in each of his four years, racking up a career stat line of 86.5 tackles for loss, 42 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and 14 (!) blocked kicks. Talk about absolute dominance at the FCS level.

At his Pro Day in 2018, Hall posted some pretty absurd numbers. He reportedly ran a 4.73 40 with a 38-inch vertical jump and 36 bench press reps. If accurate, those marks all would've been at the 94th percentile or above for defensive tackles at the combine.

That combination of production and athleticism helped Hall climb up draft boards and be selected 57th overall by the Raiders, five picks before the Vikings took right tackle Brian O'Neill. The Raiders were hoping his explosiveness would make him a good fit at the three-technique spot in their 4-3 defense.

Hall played in 14 games as a rookie, making six starts. He had 22 tackles, including three tackles for loss, and received a decent 64.9 grade from PFF. In 2019, he played in all 16 games (12 starts), upping his production to 26 tackles, eight TFLs, and 1.5 sacks. His PFF grade also went up to 70.2.

Overall, Hall hasn't lived up to his draft pedigree through two seasons, which made the Raiders feel comfortable moving on this offseason. They were set to release him before working out a deal with the Vikings. Apparently, inconsistent weight and effort levels have been an issue for Hall. "P.J. Hall, I’m anxious to see where his weight is, he came in overweight last year and at that position that can’t happen," said Raiders coach Jon Gruden recently.

This is a classic low-risk, high-reward move for the Vikings. If he doesn't impress in camp, they can move on from Hall and keep their 2021 seventh-round pick. But if makes the roster, and if Andre Patterson can help him reach his potential, that pick is a very small price to pay for someone who still has plenty of theoretical upside. The Vikings have a wide-open competition at both defensive tackle spots after Pierce opted out.

It seems like Hall is more of a prototypical three-tech than a candidate to replace Pierce at nose tackle. Jaleel Johnson, Shamar Stephen, and Armon Watts seem like the three most likely potential options to start at the nose.

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