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Evan Neal NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Alabama OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

Alika Jenner/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'7 1/2"

WEIGHT: 337

HAND: 10 1/8"

ARM: 34"

WINGSPAN: 6'11"

40-YARD DASH: DNP

3-CONE: DNP

SHUTTLE: DNP

VERTICAL: DNP

BROAD: DNP

POSITIVES

— Exceptionally explosive and smooth out of his stance at 350 pounds.

— Has the range, footwork and weight distribution to play on an island.

— Ideal length with powerful, jolting hands to strike through the hands of rushers with accurate hand placement to create a quick, overwhelming latch.

— Syncs his hands and feet together on contact to redirect, recover and mirror up the arc against speed and inside to cut off counters.

— Shows excellent mobility and pad level as a run-blocker to get into his fit as the low man with the hip snap to displace on angle-drive, double-team and zone cut-offs.

— Impact puller to both sides with the burst and agility to track moving targets and make a difference on screens, counters, tosses and sweeps.

NEGATIVES

— Can adjust more quickly against sudden post snap movement as a run-blocker to avoid overextending into contact and losing his balance.

— Tends to get wide with his hands at the point of attack on angle-drive blocks in the run game in an attempt to wrap up defenders and is late resetting his hands inside, sacrificing some control and balance through contact.

— Will lean on rushers when driving them past the QB, leaving him vulnerable at the top of the QB's drop to falling off of blocks when rushers plant and redirect inside.

2021 STATISTICS

— 15 starts at left tackle.

NOTES

— Former 5-star recruit and No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

— Started 13 games at left guard as a freshman, 13 at right tackle as a sophomore and 15 games at left tackle as a junior.

— Attended the 2021 OL Masterminds event in Frisco, Texas.

— Listed as the most physically gifted player in the nation, according to Bruce Feldman's annual "Freaks List."

— Will be 21 years old in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

OVERALL

Neal is a former 5-star prospect with a rare blend of size, athletic ability, balance and play strength.

As a pass-protector, Neal explodes out of his stance with silky footwork to get to his landmark under control and square with the weight distribution and posture to effectively mirror and cut off counter moves. He has excellent length and powerful, jolting strikes to punch through the hands of rushers into their frame and latch with overpowering grip strength. Neal has a tendency to lean into rushers up the arc, leaving him vulnerable to falling off blocks when they plant and attempt to redirect inside at the top of the QB's drop that will need to get cleaned up.

As a run-blocker, Neal plays with tremendous pad level, play strength and quickness to fit, drive and overwhelm defenders on down, double-team and cut-off blocks. He has good agility and nimbleness to track moving targets in space as a puller and lead blocker. Neal needs to maintain a stronger/wider base through the 'drive' portion of blocks and to better adjust to sudden post-snap movement across his face to prevent getting overextended and missing his target. He also needs to tighten up his hand placement on contact and reset quicker inside of defenders to prevent getting pulled off balance and falling off blocks.

Neal's blend of physical traits, polish despite limited time at one position and youth make him an immediate-impact starter at either left or right tackle with Pro Bowl potential if he can play with better overall posture and hand placement in the run game.

GRADE: 9.0 (Top-10 Player)

OVERALL RANK: 2

POSITION RANK: OT1

PRO COMPARISON: Marcus Gilbert

Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn

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