6-foot, 211 pounds, SS
Keanu Neal was the 17th pick in the 1st round (No. 17 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
After totaling 50 tackles over his first two seasons at Florida, Neal enjoyed a breakout junior campaign. Despite missing the first two games of the 2015 season with a hamstring injury, he finished the year with a career-high 96 tackles and two sacks to go along with one interception in 12 games. The hard-hitting Neal averaged nine tackles per game over the final four games of the season. Following his impressive junior year, Neal decided to forgo his senior season to enter the 2016 NFL Draft. He called it the “hardest decision I’ve ever made.”
According to NFL.com, Neal’s “size, athleticism and hitting are the best in this draft.” He is known as a hard hitter, but he can focus too much on the hard hit and miss tackles at times. Scouts have been impressed by his personal character and his ability to play in the box and as a single high safety. Neal has impressed during the evaluation phase and many believe he may be drafted earlier than some might expect. Analysts predict Neal will be a second-round pick, but he could end up sneaking into the first round.
NFL Combine results:
40-yard-dash: 4.62 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 11.58 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.38 seconds
3-cone-drill: 7.09 seconds
Vertical jump: 38 inches
Broad jump: 11 feet
225-pound bench press: 17 repetitions
“He looks like an NFL safety. Looks like he can run on tape and is exactly what you look for in run support. He’s an athlete so I don’t worry about his cover skills as long as his instincts are okay.” — NFC defensive backs coach.