When you dig down deeper into the reasoning behind the Keanu Neal pick, it makes a lot more sense. Atlanta plays more three-deep than anyone.
Underrated: Keanu Neal
When Atlanta chose him at No. 17 in the 2016 draft, it was a curious choice, because we didn’t have him rated that highly—we saw him more as a box safety who had issues playing Cover-2 or deep middle or in space. He was more like a linebacker. But when you dig down deeper into the reasoning behind the pick, it makes a lot more sense. Atlanta plays more three-deep than anyone. Kam Chancellor is the straw that stirs the drink in that scheme in Seattle—a guy who can enforce in the box in the run game and punish tight ends or slot receivers over the middle. Atlanta didn’t have that guy. It may not have made much sense for many teams in the league, but if Keanu Neal can do just 60% of what Kam has done, it’ll be a heck of a pick.
Overrated: Patrick DiMarco
He went to the Pro Bowl last season as a fullback, but he is an average player who’s not much of a threat. There are favorable matchups for the defense when he is on the field. He’s a nice kid who can catch the ball, but is he really a Pro Bowler? Absolutely not.