Jump to content

Scouting Keanu Neal: The Makeup of a Bully


g-dawg
 Share

Recommended Posts

Scouting Keanu Neal: The Makeup of a Bully

By Charles R. McDonald  @SundayFiasco on Apr 1, 2016, 7:00a 12 11 

usa-today-8895214.0.jpg
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
 

Let's get physical!

The Falcons safety talent is looking mighty thin. Atlanta has yet to replace the hole filled by longtime safety William Moore after cutting him early in the offseason, and a ttrue strong safety is desperately needed on the roster withRicardo Allen penciled in at free safety.

If you were to draw up the prototypical strong safety for Dan Quinn's scheme, Florida'sKeanu Neal would be your finished product. Physical, smart, and instinctive, Keanu Nealwould be a plug and play safety from day one.

Let's take a look at his athletic profile, courtesy of Mockdraftable.com.

Keanu NealFlorida, 2016
 

As the graph shows, Neal is an explosive, but he's linear to a degree. As the strong safety in scheme that primarily runs Cover 3, Neal will be able to patrol the middle of the field and sideline without being strained too often with deep responsibilities on the backend.

Neal is a headhunter. He's constantly looking wallop anybody with (sometimes without) the football within striking distance. His physicality and explosion at the point of attack is a joy to watch.

nealolemiss.0.gif

Part of what makes Keanu Neal such a fun evaluation is that he's not a particularly tough evaluation. It's easy to discern where he's going to make a strong impact at the next level and where he's going to struggle.

Versus the run, Neal is a heatseeking missile. It's beautiful to watch the outside corner hold the edge, the inside backer play his force responsibilities, and Neal fill the hole between the two annihilating the ballcarrier.

nealfill.0.gif

The level of violence and general disregard for any opponent is sorely needed on the Falcons defense. Atlanta needs a tone-setter and Neal is arguably the best player in that role in the entire draft. Watch Neal throttle into Derrick Henry from the Gators' 2014 game against Alabama. Keep in mind the size difference between Henry (6'3", 247) and Neal (6'0", 211).

Bonus points for the strut after he clobbers Henry.

nealhenry.0.gif

At times Neal's aggressive nature can get the best of him. He'll fly into to contact looking for the knockout blow, forgetting some of the basic fundamentals of the game. This won't fly in the NFL, and unfortunately plays like these have plagued the Falcons in recent years.

A prime example of this was Neal's tackle attempt on Derrick Henry in the 2015 SEC Championship game. Henry is sprung free to the second level and Neal throws his forearms at Henry instead breaking down, wrapping up, and securing the tackle.

nealwhiff.0.gif

Neal's linear athletic profile can get him in trouble, but some of his best plays come when he's naturally aligned along the boundary. When he's able to fly towards ballcarriers without having to worry about large spaces of open field, his explosion is consistently on display. Kenyan Drake is pinned against the sideline here and Neal cleans up nicely, bringing him down before the first down marker.

Keanu Neal isn't the most fluid player in the coverage. He reads route combinations well and anticipates where and receivers are going to make their breaks, but he has trouble flipping his hips and staying in front of quicker receivers. This is a bit troublesome coming into the NFL. However, placing him in a scheme that primarily runs Cover 3 can mitigate the risk by asking him to play curl zones and hook zones.

As stated before, Neal isn't a particularly hard evaluation. What you see is what you get. The tricky part with Neal is valuing what he brings to the table and placing him in this draft class. Ideally, a player of Neal's skill set is an early second round player. However, this class is a bit weaker than previous years.

There are few marquee players in this draft class. If Shaq Lawson is off the board by the time the Falcons' first round pick is up and they believe they need to come out of this draft class with an impact safety (agree strongly), Keanu Neal could easily be the pick at 17.

Kemal Ishmael and Robenson Therezie are nice role players, but they shouldn't stop the team from looking for a serious upgrade in the offseason. Neal is the physical, vicious tone-setter this defense has lacked for awhile and he seems like the perfect prospect to take the throne from William Moore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Pacific_Falcon said:

Thx for posting...not sure if its the new site or my phone but OMG the formatting is murder lol

Its got to be new site cause I can't read it. It's black lettering against a black background and only half of it fits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

Where's it at I couldn't find it?

 

Nevermind I see it after you updated.

it takes a few tries to get the whole article in when it has all these gifs  - finally figured it out - there is still a graph that I cannot figure out how to get in this article.   too dayum complicated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, osiruz said:

Half of this is in black, lol. Formatting is pretty bad. Keanu is my fave safety in this draft.

it is not on my computer - not sure what the issue is - are you looking at it on your phone?  if so, when you get home, look at it on your computer - should look nice.

here is direct link to the website - maybe you can read the article more clearly there:

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2016/4/1/11321238/scouting-keanu-neal-the-makeup-of-a-bully

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

Scott has us taking Lee in the first and Neal in the second.

yeah, seems very likely.  What would the rest look like:

#1-017) Darron Lee, WLB - Ohio State

#2-050) Keanu Neal, SS - Florida

#3-081) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

#4-115) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

yeah, seems very likely.  What would the rest look like:

#1-017) Darron Lee, WLB - Ohio State

#2-050) Keanu Neal, SS - Florida

#3-081) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

#4-115) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

I'm not sure really. We would probably go best player available if we got those 2 players. Honestly I could see Lee playing MLB for us. Spoon at OLb. Or possible a D Jones or another LB in the 3rd or 4th.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

I'm not sure really. We would probably go best player available if we got those 2 players. Honestly I could see Lee playing MLB for us. Spoon at OLb. Or possible a D Jones or another LB in the 3rd or 4th.

yeah, Falcons have so many needs, we need to stay as true as we can to the draft board.  I think Dimitroff in the past was too much of a "needs based" drafter.   Falcons have needs across the board - some more pressing than others.  I mean, we are not drafting Paxton Lynch nor Ezekiel Elliott - but we need to stay true to our board - with LB, S, DE, DT, OG, TE needs - there will be good choices likely across those positions in all 4 rounds.   Let the Falcons draft board dictate the picks.

as fans, we want to fill every need in one off-season but that just almost never happens - when the draft is done - we are still going to have holes - but we better have gotten the best football players we could on the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

yeah, seems very likely.  What would the rest look like:

#1-017) Darron Lee, WLB - Ohio State

#2-050) Keanu Neal, SS - Florida

#3-081) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

#4-115) ???????? (DT/OG/TE)

3 - J. Adams, TE, S. Car

4- A. Zettel, DE/DT, PSU

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

yeah, Falcons have so many needs, we need to stay as true as we can to the draft board.  I think Dimitroff in the past was too much of a "needs based" drafter.   Falcons have needs across the board - some more pressing than others.  I mean, we are not drafting Paxton Lynch nor Ezekiel Elliott - but we need to stay true to our board - with LB, S, DE, DT, OG, TE needs - there will be good choices likely across those positions in all 4 rounds.   Let the Falcons draft board dictate the picks.

as fans, we want to fill every need in one off-season but that just almost never happens - when the draft is done - we are still going to have holes - but we better have gotten the best football players we could on the team.

You know I'm not sure will have holes, but definitely will have spots still we should upgrade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...