Scouting the NFL Draft: S Keanu Neal | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Scouting the NFL Draft: S Keanu Neal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Keanu Neal of the Florida Gators celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium Oct. 4, 2014. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

    Keanu Neal, S, Florida
    Ht. 6', Wt. 211, Arm: 32 34", Hand: 10 58", Bench: 17
    40 yd: 4.59, 10 yd.: 1.62, 3 Cone: 7.09, Vertical: 38", Broad: 10'11"
    Games Watched: Kentucky (2014), Hawaii, Michigan St.

    If you think other games better reflect this player’s ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

    Keanu Neal played in 12 games as a special teamer and reserve safety for the Florida Gators as a true freshman in 2013. He started 8 games at safety as a sophomore, notching 45 tackles, 3 INTs and 4 passes broken up before suffering an injury.

    Injuries also plagued Neal's junior season, causing him to miss the first two games of the year and affecting him in his other 11 starts. He finished the season with 96 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks and 1 INT and announced his intentions to enter the draft on Instagram. He's reportedly training with his brother Clinton Hart, a 9-year NFL veteran.

    Strengths

    • Size - Good size, length
    • Physical - Feisty, punishing tackler
    • Catch Point - Plays ball well
    • Instincts - Diagnoses quickly, rarely fooled
    • Feet - Efficient in backpedal
    • Coverage - Capable of shutting down bigger receivers
    • Speed - Plays fast, gets downhill quickly
    • Hitter - Dislodges ball with impact

    Weaknesses

    • Injuries - Missed time, affected play
    • Durability - Aggressive style could lead to more injuries
    • Disengaging - Struggles to shed blockers
    • Inexperienced - Mentally tentative

    Verdict: Second-Round Pick

    Neal earned the right to wear No. 42 with his reputation for big hits. He's not just an intimidating striker, though, as his coverage skills don't get the credit they deserve. If you remove his injury issues, which are a legitimate concern, he'd probably be a slam-dunk first-round pick.

    Neal is the type of safety the Cowboys should consider pairing with Byron Jones. He's versatile enough to play the free safety position and could grow into that role, but he's an ideal strong safety in Dallas. He'd be a Day 1 upgrade for the Cowboys and is worth the team's second-round pick.