2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama OT Evan Neal

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide just seem to pump out incredible talent each and every season. With Alex Leatherwood on the Las Vegas Raiders roster, that left a hole at left tackle for Alabama. Evan Neal, the team’s right tackle in 2020, has filled that void considerably well. He’s one of our top prospects, as evident on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 200 Big Board, and should be a top NFL Draft prospect should he declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. In this scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Evan Neal such a special offensive tackle prospect in the NFL Draft, as well as how his skills and abilities will translate into the NFL.

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Evan Neal 40 Time

I have Evan Neal projected to run a 40 time of 5.45. During the recruitment process, Neal ran a 5.60 40-yard dash. I believe that you have to factor in improvement as he prepares for the NFL Combine. The projected 40 time for Evan Neal would be a bit slower than the league average, but not by a considerable amount. Furthermore, I don’t see any impact on film when it comes to his athleticism. He’s able to get out of his stance quickly, has good lateral agility, and has solid quickness to reach second level blocks.

 

Evan Neal Injury History

NFL Scouts will be relieved to find that there is no considerable injury history when it comes to Evan Neal’s time at Alabama. Neal did have to leave the 2019 matchup with Arkansas early due to an injury, but did not miss any additional games. Additionally, Evan Neal suffered an injury during the Spring of 2021, but was ready for the season opener.

 

Evan Neal Scouting Report

Pros
  • One Of The Best In The Country At Protecting The Quarterback In Pass Protection
  • Good Quickness Out Of His Stance To Handle Speed Off The Edge
  • Doesn’t Panic Versus Violent Hand Usage From The Defensive Line
Cons
  • Struggles Against Edge Rushers That Possess Very Good and Elite Bend
  • Late To Identify And React To Delayed Blitzes From Inside Linebackers
  • Efficiency Drops When An Inline Blocker Is Next To Him

Evan Neal is a three-year contributor for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He began his collegiate career at left guard, but has since started at right and left tackle. Has very good height and weight for the offensive tackle position. Has solid athleticism for the position, but given his size, an argument can be made that he has good to very good athleticism.

Neal has a very good ability to handle spin moves and violent use of hands from edge defenders. Maintains a good pad level to drive through defenders and create running lanes inside. Displays a solid quickness to get to the 2nd level quickly and execute efficient blocks. Possesses good quickness out of his stance to handle speedy pass rushers off the edge. Displays solid awareness to identify stunts and twists from the defensive line and handle them with ease. Doesn’t panic when facing aggressive hand placement from defenders. Possesses a very good ability to absorb power and bull rushes and recovers extremely well. Best put, he’s a mauler at offensive tackle that is determined to protect the quarterback at all costs.

Evan Neal displays an adequate ability to stun defenders that possess above average and elite bend off the edge. He can struggle at times to establish and maintain leverage when asked to pull and block for the ball carrier outside of the tackle box. His effectiveness drops significantly when an inline blocking tight end is placed next to him. Possesses an adequate ability identify late blitzes outside from the inside linebacking position.

 

Evan Neal NFL Draft Projection

I currently have Evan Neal listed as the 4th overall prospect on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 200 Big Board. While it’s certainly possible, I still find it difficult to believe that he doesn’t end up coming off the board in the top five draft picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. Given his frame, he has fantastic athleticism and quickness. In fact, he went viral after a video was posted of Neal accomplishing a 48-inch box jump.

Evan Neal has played several positions for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but I believe that he fits best at offensive tackle, specifically at left tackle. He has all of the tools necessary to protect a quarterback’s blind side. With Jacksonville’s record this season, as well as a gaping hole on the offensive line, that fit makes the most sense. However, the New York Jets or the New York Giants could also be potential fits.

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