Hall went 158th overall, filling a position of need for the Jets and becoming the second Cavaliers cornerback drafted in as many years. Last season, Tim Harris went to the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round (198th overall).
Reed became the first Virginia wide receiver drafted since 2006, when the St. Louis Rams picked Marques Hagans in the fifth round with the 144th selection. Reed is also the first Cavaliers player the Chargers have drafted since kicker Kurt Smith in 2006; he was a sixth-round selection, 188th overall.
“It was stressful as the rounds progressed, but I’m here with my family and my friends that have been keeping me company,” Reed said during a video call with Los Angeles media. “Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night just thinking about it, but overall it worked out for me.”
Before the draft, Reed revealed he had had conversations with NFL coaches and scouts about playing multiple offensive positions, making Virginia’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards (3,042) an ideal fit for the Chargers, who lost running back Melvin Gordon to the Denver Broncos this offseason.
Reed (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) lined up in the backfield in certain formations for Virginia, which found creative ways to get the speedy senior the ball. It appears the Chargers have a similar strategy in mind for Reed, who led major college football last season in yards per kickoff return (33.2).
He was the only player in the country with at least 600 receiving yards and 600 kick-return yards, and he departs Virginia ranked ninth in receptions (129). Reed’s 77 catches this past season led the Cavaliers and were the fourth most in a season at Virginia.
“The conversations that I’ve had with coaches so far has been a combination of receiver, playing some out of the backfield and returning both punts and kickoffs,” Reed said. “One thing I like to complement my size with is speed, and I feel the combination of both those things helps me become an overall better football player.”
While Reed was able to perform for NFL teams and talent evaluators at February’s combine, Hall (6-1, 202) was unable to while recovering from ankle surgery following an October injury against Miami that ended his season.
Hall had been one of the top prospects at his position — projected as a first- or second-round pick by some websites — after his junior season, when he led the country in pass breakups (22) and finished tied for first in passes defended (24). But the 2018 second-team all-American elected to return to Charlottesville in part to elevate his draft stock.
During a conference call last month, Hall indicated his medical team and personal trainer told him he should be fully healed by the start of NFL training camps, which for the Jets is scheduled to begin in late July. However, training camps and other NFL activities are up in the air because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hall also had dealt with a broken fibula and torn deltoid ligaments.
“At the end of the day, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Hall said during a conference call with New York media. “I’m here now, so I’m ready to look forward. … Where I landed, it motivated me even more to work 10 times harder.”