Photo of Keanu Neal
Drafted By: Falcons
  • Round 1
  • Pick 17
  • Overall 17

Combine Results

Grade
5.88 ?
  • 4.62 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 17 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 38.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 132.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.09 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.38 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.58 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"We talk about the Seattle influence there in Atlanta. They know that nothing can change the game like a big hit, and Neal is one of the most physical safeties in this draft. He can run and cover." -- Daniel Jeremiah

  • 6'0" Height
  • 32 3/4" Arm Length
  • 211LBS. Weight
  • 10 5/8" Hands

Overview

Some safeties are content with "catching" ball-carriers during their tackle attempts. Neal prefers to make sure those with the ball have nightmares about "42" coming their way. The Florida high school all-state pick (151 tackles as a junior) stepped in to tie for the team lead in special teams tackles as a freshman, along with playing a reserve role at safety (five tackles on the year). Neal got the start in eight contests as a sophomore, missing two games with an injury but still managing 45 tackles and racking up three interceptions. He also missed the first two games of the 2015 season with an injured hamstring, but finished with 96 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two sacks, and one interception. Neal joined cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III in leaving for the NFL early after his outstanding junior year.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds
20-yard short shuttle: 4.32 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Athletic frame with NFL size. Quick-­twitch player cranks it up to top speed in a hurry. Explodes downhill in run support with blood in his eyes. Vicious hitter looking to bruise bones and set tones. Rangy run stopper. Drives all the way through his contact with aggressive finishes. Scouts impressed by his personal character. Good click and close skill in coverage. Is on top of receiver immediately after the catch. Worked from the box and as single high safety at Florida. Impact tackler around the line of scrimmage. Plays with a sense of desperation and rarely fatigues.

Weaknesses

Will have to make business decisions regarding when to bang and when to simply tackle in order to save his body. "Hulk smash" playing style led to 15 missed or broken tackles in 2015. Can be wild in space skating past his target. Field awareness can be hit or miss in coverage. Will lose track of deep ball responsibility from time to time. Won't always turn and run early enough.

Draft Projection

Round 2

Sources Tell Us

"He looks like an NFL safety. Looks like he can run on tape and is exactly what you look for in run support. He's an athlete so I don't worry about his cover skills as long as his instincts are okay." -- NFC defensive backs coach

NFL Comparison

Kenny Vaccaro

Bottom Line

Neal started the year off with a hamstring issue that slowed him down and caused some uneven tape at times, but his size, athleticism and hitting are the best in this draft. Neal isn't limited to simple box tasks even though he thrives there. He has all the makings of an early starter and may hear his name called earlier than some might project.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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