Alabama has had an offensive lineman taken in the first round of each of the past three NFL drafts and Evan Neal is set to continue that trend in 2022. Neal is a mountain of a man but extremely light on his feet for his size. He has played both guard and tackle, meaning he could start right away for whichever team drafts him, and it won't take long to find out once the first round starts on April 28.
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Evan Neal Draft Profile
A left guard as a freshman and right tackle as a sophomore, Neal moved to left tackle last season and thrived. He’s a massive human being but surprisingly nimble and flexible for his size. He’s quick off the snap, and his girth and long arms give him some margin for error when protecting on an island. He keeps his lower and upper body in sync, with the heavy hands to set a pass rusher back with his initial punch. That experience across the line (and quality of coaching at Alabama) shows in his ability to recognize and adjust to twists and stunts. He’ll move people as a run blocker, creating push at the point of attack and showing the kind of movement skills to get out as a puller.
Neal still has some issues with speed around the edge; he’ll slow his feet and lunge, putting himself off-balance and at a disadvantage. He’s better in a phone booth than moving out into space.
Neal is likely to be able to pick up an NFL offense easily and hold his own early. He’s a better fit in an inside-zone or gap scheme, but he’ll fit just about any offense on either side of the line, with a chance to be a perennial Pro Bowler.