Buccaneers’ Defensive End Has Chance to Get ‘Career on Track’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on a run of drafting defensive linemen in 2022 and 2023 — five in total in those two drafts.

The odds are that not all of those picks are going to end up being stars for the Buccaneers.

According to USA Today’s Jason Kanno, one of the higher picks out of that group is in a make-or-break year in 2024 — defensive end Logan Hall, who the Buccaneers took with their first pick in the 2022 NFL draft (No. 33 overall).

“The Bucs’ first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is coming into a critical year,” Kanno wrote. “After two forgettable years, defensive tackle Logan Hall has one foot in ‘bust’ territory. For his career, Hall has just three sacks, 34 total pressures and seven tackles for a loss. He even appears to have gotten worse as a tackler, missing four in 2023 after missing none in 2022.

“Though the Bucs realized very quickly they needed hedge their bets with Hall by drafting (Calijah) Kancey last year, Hall does have a narrow window in which to get his NFL career on track.”

At 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, Hall has a unique blend of size and athleticism he’s been unable to tap into through his first two seasons.

Hall’s Numbers Don’t Equal NFL Success … So Far

Hall had a breakout year in 2021 at the University of Houston, earning All-AAC honors with 47 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks. Based largely on the strength of that, the Buccaneers took him with their first pick in the 2022 draft and the first pick of the second round.

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One problem? He played defensive tackle in college and would require a position shift to defensive end in the NFL.

“Hall played defensive tackle in college, but his playing style and physical profile are better suited for defensive end in a 3-4 alignment,” wrote NFL analyst Lance Zierlein in his pre-draft profile of Hall. “He’s segmented and a little gradual in his attack, but flashes violent hands and forward charge as an interior rusher. Improvement lies ahead for Hall, but he needs a scheme fit and extended runway as a rotational lineman.”

Hall had a small but notable impact as a rookie in 2022, playing in all 17 games as a backup and finishing with 2.5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. He had an elevated role in 2023 with 13 starts and finished the season with 22 tackles but only 0.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss — a notable regression.

Gholston Shows Hall Path to Long-Term Success

Hall doesn’t need to look far to see what long-term success would look like for him in his NFL career — 12-year veteran William Gholston is listed right behind him on the depth chart.

Gholston used his versatility to craft out a long career, and all with Tampa Bay, which selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft out of Michigan State.

“At minimum,(Hall) has to find a niche, at least one thing on which to hang his hat,” Kanno wrote. “It worked for the second-most tenured Buccaneer on the roster, William Gholston.

“Like Hall, Gholston was tweener coming out of college. Too small to be a true defensive tackle but too big and slow to be an edge rusher. What Gholston had in spades was strength, which he used to become one of Tampa Bay’s best run defenders. Hall is an explosive athlete, which he must learn to more aptly leverage if he hopes to have an NFL career for much longer.”

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