INDIANAPOLIS -- As it currently stands, it's possible Breece Hall ends up being the first running back off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. NFL Network draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks both rank the Iowa State product as the top prospect at the position.
It's a nice honor, but it doesn't matter much to him. Hall doesn't believe it's important to find his new football home before any other running back. He does, however, think he's the best option for any team in the market for a back.
"I just feel like over the last two years, no running back's been able to do what I've been able to do," Hall explained Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I really respect those other guys' games ... I just feel like I'm the best running back in this draft."
Hall views himself as a three-down back who is capable of doing anything at the next level. He has a perfect opportunity to prove it this week in Indianapolis, but it won't come without a significant test: the 40-yard dash.
The book on Hall is that of a patient, powerful runner with excellent vision and an ability to make defenders miss at the first two levels of the defense. It sounds similar to the description of Le'Veon Bell, a premier running back in his prime who made massive contributions in both the running and passing games. The biggest question is whether Hall has the top-end speed to win the edge and hit an occasional home run, as Bell -- a player Hall said he likes to model his game after -- was known to do.
"I always say I'm slow to and fast through," Hall said, "so I feel like that's what makes me different from a lot of backs, just the fact that I'm really patient in the way that I run and I can control the game."
The 40-yard dash will allow Hall to showcase his speed, something the running back admitted he believes many are questioning at this point in the pre-draft process. Hall wouldn't put a number on his expectation, instead saying the result will be "a surprise." The Iowa State product is so focused on the event that he's skipping the bench press to save his energy for the sprint down the sideline.
If Hall does indeed take some scouts by surprise, he could boost his draft stock potentially into the back end of the first round. The current era has diminished the importance of selecting running backs on the draft's opening night, and while very capable, Hall hasn't risen to the star status seen in past first-rounders like Saquon Barkley. None of NFL.com's latest mock drafts list him among the first 32 picks.
Such is the reality for today's backs. It doesn't bother the team-oriented Hall much, but he knows that if he can keep improving -- both physically and in key abilities like pass protection -- he'll only help his chances.
"It's big because I feel like if you're not a pass protector, then you really can't be a first-round draft pick these days," Hall said. "I feel like I've always been able to do that and I can still get better at that, as well."
Improvement and proving himself seem to be atop Hall's agenda. He'll get a great chance to put everything on display at Lucas Oil Stadium during Friday's evening workout (4 p.m. ET on NFL Network).