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Evan Neal
NFL Combine

Just How Tough Is Evan Neal? Ask Demarvin Leal

  • Carmen Vitali
  • March 10, 2022
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Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal has a case for being the first overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Jacksonville needs help protecting Trevor Lawrence and at 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds, Neal more than fits the bill.

You’ve probably already heard a lot about the former 5-star recruit and his three years starting for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He made the transition from right to left tackle seamlessly and his versatility will serve him well wherever he ends up in the league.

Neal’s overall athleticism completely contradicts how big he is and he’s mastered the art of run-blocking while staving off any defender that even thinks about trying to get to the quarterback. He’s gone up against the top talent that college football has to offer and if you want to know even more about Neal, albeit from a different perspective, all you have to do is ask.

Texas A&M defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal, himself one of the top prospects at his position in this year’s draft, was asked in Indianapolis who his toughest individual opponent was during his collegiate career.

His answer?

“Definitely say Evan Neal,” said Leal. “He’s a big guy, he’s light on his feet, he knows what he’s doing.”

This is a guy who is 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds with the strength to command the interior and the speed and agility to be an outside threat. He can play all along the defensive line—and therefore go up against all kinds of offensive linemen, yet Neal is the one that stood out to him.

“He gives you a different type of pass set and offensive tackle style,” said Leal of Neal. “Usually, there’s the big offensive tackles that don’t have great feet or good hands. But he’s very patient, he knows the game and you can tell he watches his film and he does his job every play.”

Not only does Neal possess a rarified skill set given his size, strength, speed, and lateral quickness, but he has study habits to match. It’s probably why he is so pro-ready no matter what aspect of offensive line play he’s asked to do. And he’s also gotten a lot of practice going up against top talent, so transitioning to the NFL should be a breeze.

Written By

Carmen Vitali