New York Jets cornerback Bryce Hall celebrates after breaking up a...

New York Jets cornerback Bryce Hall celebrates after breaking up a pass on fourth down against Houston on Nov. 28, 2021.  Credit: AP/Eric Smith

Bryce Hall has had to grow up quickly in the Jets’ secondary, and he hopes to be one of the reasons the franchise turns the corner.

Hall, a fifth-round pick last year, became the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback in a very short time. He has started the last 20 games and is making his case to be one of the cornerstones in the back end of Robert Saleh’s defense.

"Being kind of one of the older dudes in the secondary even though it’s only my second year, I do take on that responsibility of being a leader and helping push this organization to where we want it to go," Hall said. "I feel like just growing up quick in this NFL and being thrown into that position and not necessarily a lot of veteran guys around the secondary has made me grow up quicker.

"Certainly it would be an honor for me to be a big part of changing and flipping this organization around and being a part of that."

The Jets had high hopes for Hall when they drafted him 158th overall out of Virginia. He was projected to go in the first or second round before he suffered a gruesome injury his senior season.

Hall fractured his left fibula, dislocated his ankle and suffered torn ligaments while blocking on a punt return. in October. He made his NFL debut more than a year later – Nov. 9 – and the next week Hall started at corner.

Since then, all Hall has done is impress the Jets coaches on two different staffs.

Bless Austin was expected to be the Jets’ No. 1 corner coming into this season. They released him late in training camp and put their trust in Hall. He hasn’t disappointed. Hall has played more snaps than any Jets’ defensive player – 875. Linebacker C.J. Mosley is next at 796.

Hall has 56 tackles, four for loss, and 10 passes defended this season.

Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said Hall is "as committed to this game as much as any human in this building." Recently, Saleh said Hall is "turning into a legitimate corner."

An even bigger compliment and indication of the trust the Jets have in Hall came when they let him travel with receivers against Miami in Week 11 instead of playing on just one side.

The previous week, Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs’ burned the Jets and Hall wasn’t guarding him much. In Saleh’s defense, the corners don’t usually match up with receivers. But they changed that with Hall.

"The more he does that, the better he plays and the more he progresses, the more we’ll utilize him in that way," Ulbrich said. "Because he’s proven to be a guy that can really cover."

The Jets are expected to address the cornerback position this offseason either through free agency or the draft. They currently have picks 4 and 7 in the first round. Some mock drafts have the Jets selecting LSU corner Derek Stingley Jr., who would be a great addition to that room.

Hall has positioned himself to remain a big part of the secondary and piece of the defense going forward. He said he knows "what it looks like" when a program or team climbs out of the dumpster. Hall helped Virginia go from 2-10 his freshman year to an Orange Bowl appearance as a senior. Hall is committed to helping the Jets do something similar.

"It’s something cool to be a part of experiencing that," Hall said. "I would honor and cherish to be able to see this thing flip and change. It’s the NFL so things are little bit harder. But that’s the kind of mentality I have. Not trying to run from or just looking to go jump ship or whatever, but being a part of seeing an organization change and do amazing things, which I believe it will."

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