Leon Hall: Defying Odds

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He’s had a good return from what looked to be a potentially devastating injury to a promising career for the former Michigan Wolverine. He came to Cincinnati with high expectations after being a consensus first-team All-American selection in his final year in Ann Arbor, and was later drafted 18th-overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Bengals. He lived up to the hype as he finished the 2007 season as the team leader in interceptions with five, which also tied a Bengals record for the most INTs in a rookie season.

His best game as an NFL player came against the in-state rival Cleveland Browns in Week 16 of the 2008 season, a game in which he recorded three INTs, including a 50-yard pick-six. Since then, he’s been one of the more highly-regarded corners in the league. He’s having a nice bounce-back season, as he’s rated as the 41st-best CB by Pro Football Focus, which is actually 15 spots ahead of Jonathan Joseph, whom the Bengals opted to let walk in free agency so they could afford to re-sign Hall.

He’s often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best receiver, and does an admirable job doing so. Since his rookie season, he leads the team in interceptions (21) and passes defensed (103), and many game-changing plays that have kept the Bengals contenders for much of his career. The Bengals will certainly need him to make more of those plays Sunday if the Bengals are to clinch a trip to the postseason for the third time in his six season in Cincinnati.



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