The San Francisco 49ers quietly made a practice squad addition on Thursday that could be an interesting one to track. They signed defensive end Daeshon Hall and released Niles Scott. The 49ers originally signed Scott on April 30th as an undrafted free agent. He was released during roster cuts and subsequently signed to the practice squad.
Hall is in only his second season in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 77th overall. He played nine snaps in the 2017 season opener, but did not play again that season. He was placed on injured reserve in October with a knee injury that never seemed to be fully clarified. The Panthers waived him this year on September 1.
I’m still not entirely sure why the Panthers cut Hall. Our friends at Cat Scratch Reader thought at the time that they might just be trying to slip him to the practice squad. That did not happen, and now he’s joining the 49ers practice squad.
Hall had a productive career at Texas A&M. In 52 games (32 starts), he had 162 tackles (36.5 for a loss), 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three passes defensed, and one interception. In his senior season, he had 50 tackles (13 for a loss), 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one pass defensed.
He has the dimensions you want from a pass rusher, having added weight throughout college and into the NFL. But something happened that led to the Panthers decision to release him. It could just be that he never rounded into form after the injury, but it’s guesswork for the time being. He entered the NFL with outside linebacker size, and has been working to learn putting his hand in the ground. Maybe that had something to do with it.
Whatever the case, until we know more, he is at least an intriguing sleeper option on the practice squad. The pass rush is a huge question mark, so adding an under-the-radar option is not a bad idea. He may amount to nothing, but the risk is as minimal as it can get with a practice squad signing.