Crimson Tide Scouting Report: Tackle Evan Neal

Crimson Tide Scouting Report: Tackle Evan Neal

Crimson Tide Scouting Report: Tackle Evan Neal

BamaCentral and NFL Draft Bible team up to profile the 17 Alabama players who have a chance to be selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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When it comes to Alabama offensive linemen, he's the next one. 

Actually, that's not exactly accurate as Evan Neal has already been a starter for two seasons with the Crimson Tide. He's the next one at left tackle, which is where most teams put their best offensive lineman to help protect the quarterback's blind side. 

Heading into his junior season, Neal isn't just considered an obvious preseason All-SEC selection, which the media made official last week, but All-American choice, and has already been named so by the Sporting News, the Walter Camp Foundation and the College Football News. 

Last season, Neal was on the field for 810 snaps. The Crimson Tide coaching staff credited him with just six missed assignments, three penalties, 1.5 sacks allowed, four quarterback hurries and three pressures.

He's the guy Alabama will build around up front this season. 

Evan Neal 

No. 73
Pos: Left tackle
Ht: 6-6.5
Wt: 360
DOB: 9/19/01
Eligible: 2022
Hometown: Okeechobee, Fla. 
High School: IMG Academy

Pros

A huge two-year starter at left guard and right tackle. Neal has rare athleticism for his size, possessing quick feet and lower body flexibility to get out of his stance and work to the second level. His length is great and once he lands his hands, he is able to latch on, move his feet and control opponents. He is great when jump setting, as he gets to be more aggressive and shoot his hands immediately. Neal creates movement in the run game, displaying pop in his hands and strong leg drive to open up holes. He has the feet and power to down block as well as the athleticism to pull. At the second level, he finishes blocks, putting linebackers on the ground. Competitive player who runs downfield and wants to dominate every opponent.

Cons

Still raw with his technique. Waist bends and plays too far over his toes making him susceptible to getting pulled. His aggressiveness causes him to end up on the ground frequently. Neal has to be more patient in pass protection when setting vertically. Shoots his hands way too quickly when rushers are not in range yet. He is not quick enough with his power step to shut down counters reliably. Can struggle with his eyes and timing when climbing to the second level. Neal is not always able to use his functional strength as he does not play with consistent leverage due to him leaning.

Summary 

Huge tackle with special athleticism for his size who has started since his true freshman season. Neal has tremendous potential thanks to his foot speed, length and size. He has to refine his technique and play more patiently in pass protection. Overaggressiveness and waist bending causes him to end up on the ground too often. Neal projects as a starting tackle who could develop into one of the best in the league at his position. Early on, he could play inside or be a backup while he works on his technique. 

Grade: 7.8 (now), 9.2 (potential) 

BamaCentral Analysis

He's listed on the Alabama roster as being 6-7, 360, with power, good feet and uses his leverage well. This season, he's switching to his preferred position, left tackle, after starting as a right tackle and left guard, where he was named a Freshman All-American by numerous outlets. If Neal keeps developing under new offensive line coach (and former NFL head coach) Doug Marrone he'll be an Outland Trophy candidate. In terms of the 2022 NFL Draft, he's just about exactly what every team wants, although some will wonder if he might be better suited to play guard at the next level. 

Crimson Tide Scouting Report is a 17-part series on Alabama's prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft, with evaluations by NFL Draft Bible and analysis by BamaCentral. Check out his profile on NFL Draft Bible.

Linebacker Henry To'o To'o

DE/OLB Christopher Allen

Safety Jordan Battle

Tight End Jahleel Billingsley

Defensive Tackle D.J. Dale

Defensive End Justin Eboigbe

Linebacker Christian Harris

Defensive back DeMarcco Hellams

Cornerback Josh Jobe

Defensive Tackle Phidarian Mathis

Wide receiver John Metchie III 

When it comes to Alabama offensive linemen, he's the next one. 

Actually, that's not exactly accurate as Evan Neal has already been a starter for two seasons with the Crimson Tide. He's the next one at left tackle, which is where most teams put their best offensive lineman to help protect the quarterback's blind side. 

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