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Sports Illustrated NFL Draft Live
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated NFL Draft Live
Friday April 29th, 2016

The Atlanta Falcons select Florida S Keanu Neal with the No. 17 pick in the 2016 NFL draft. 

GRADE: C

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was in Seattle for the rise of Kam Chancellor, and Neal fits the profile to a degree. At 6' 0" and 211 pounds, he's a feared hitter who needs development on coverage. Now, Quinn saw Chancellor become a great cover guy over time, but putting the 17th overall pick on a guy who's best in the box and limited everywhere else is a questionable strategy. I'd be surprised if half the teams in the NFL didn't have him in the second round.

• 2016 NFL draft tracker: Follow every team’s pick

Strengths: Think of him as Karl Joseph light. Neal brings the same mentality to the field, namely that he wants to clobber anyone with the ball. He is a plus athlete whose best plays come when he has a clear path to a receiver or running back, allowing him to plant and explode into a bone-crunching tackle.​

Weaknesses: Reckless-abandon approach can lead to taking brutal angles. Vulnerable on the deep ball.

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