The Browns drafted DT Michael Hall in the second round.

The Browns drafted DT Michael Hall in the second round.

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The Browns drafted DT Michael Hall in the second round.

New defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. issued an emotional reaction after being selected by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

“It’s the greatest feeling ever in the world,” Hall said after going No. 54 overall.

By landing with the Browns, Hall gets to stay home in Ohio. He played at Ohio State and also went to high school in the state. Playing for his hometown squad comes with some extra pressure but Hall is embracing it.

“I’m not one of those guys who’s gonna run away from the pressure. I mean, I run to it, I’m gonna head on,” Hall said. “It’s gonna be a lot of pressure on me playing in my hometown. A lot of people gonna have a lot of expectations, but at the end of the day, as a player, I still have demands that I have to meet expectations. So I’m gonna hold myself accountable.”

During his three seasons at Ohio State, Hall accumulated 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and six sacks. During the 2023 season he tallied 24 total tackles. At the combine, Hall separated himself with an impressive athleticism score of 86 — third among defensive tackles.

New Browns DT Michael Hall Pushes Back Over Size Concerns

Hall is undersized for a defensive tackle, coming in at 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds. It was a knock on him leading up to the draft. Here’s what Lance Zierlein of had to say about Hall:

“There might be a different conversation if Hall was a little bigger, but a lack of size is hard to overcome on the NFL level,”  Zierlein wrote. “Hall plays with good pound-for-pound strength and stands up to bigger players in front of him. He’s twitchy to knock blockers off balance but will also be engulfed by size at times. He rushes with sudden feet and active hands to whip guards with quick wins but appears to lack the lower-body drive to capitalize on early advantages against stronger competition. Hall needs to add mass but should compete for a backup role early on and has immediate sub-rush potential as a 3-technique in a one-gapping scheme.”

Hall is ready to prove his doubters wrong with his play on the field.

“I would say obviously he didn’t watch the tape,” Hall said, referencing Zierlein’s breakdown. “It’s nothing personal or anything about that. A lot of people have a lot of stuff to say. The naysayers, you know, you can’t focus on that. You got to focus on the positive and let those people have opinions.”

Browns Feel Michael Hall Fits Defensive System

What helps Hall is that he fits the Browns’ system on the defensive line. He’s able to move around and get to the quarterback — things that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz values.

“The way I would describe him is a shapeshifter, the way he can move his body, the way he can attack the quarterback,” Browns assistant GM Glenn Cook said. “I think probably next to Andrew, the happiest person was (defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz. Just with our attacking style. He really fits our model and our style.

“So just really excited with his ability, with his upside, his ability to impact the quarterback. Those are the things I would highlight just to start, but really excited to get him.”

Hall joins a defensive tackle group that includes Dalvin Tomlinson, 2023 third-round pick Siaki Ika, Shelby Harris and Maurice Hurst.

J.R. DeGroote covers the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Lakers for He covered local and statewide sports as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and has decades of experience in digital media with previous stops at SB Nation and Bleacher Report. He has won multiple state, regional and national honors for sports reporting and photography. More about J.R. DeGroote

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