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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Will medical concerns cause Evan Neal to drop in the NFL Draft?

Alabama OT Evan Neal on the field in 2020 before LSU game
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Evan Neal is one of the best offensive tackles in this NFL Draft class, but will injury concerns cause the Alabama football alum to drop from the top five?

Albert Breer, a Senior NFL Reporter for Sports Illustrated, states two medical issues (knee, hip) he has gathered from a handful of NFL teams about Neal. The 6-foot-7, 335-pounder showed versatility as a guard and tackle in three seasons for the Crimson Tide.

He started 13 games at right tackle in 2020 and 15 games at left tackle in 2021. Neal helped Mac Jones and Bryce Young total 4,000+ yards passing and become Heisman Trophy finalists. Neal’s protection propelled Young to be Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in 2021. He would also assist Najee Harris and Brian Robinson to become 1,000+ yard running backs, and Harris earned Heisman finalist honors in 2020. Neal surrendered two sacks in 2021 and 1.5 in 2020 for a total of 3.5 in 28 games as an offensive tackle. He received Consensus All-American, first-team All-SEC, and permanent team captain honors.

Breer sees Neal having a long career and getting taken within the first six picks of the draft, but the information he’s gathered concerns him. Neal did not miss a start at tackle in two years, so he displayed durability.

Jacksonville has the No. 1 overall pick, and the New York Giants are No. 5.

We will see where Neal ends up, but he presents a team with a cornerstone piece.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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