NFL draft 2022: Alabama’s Evan Neal claims, predicted No. 1 pick anchored Crimson Tide’s offensive line

In a long-awaited move, Alabama left-back Evan Neal announced that he would be entering the 2022 NFL Draft. Neal, a junior, started every game left lane for the Crimson Tide in in 2021, defending the blind side of winner Heisman Bryce Young.

“I thank my family, mom and dad, as well as all the coaches and fans who have supported me throughout my college career.” Neal said in his announcement. “While this season did not end with the results my brothers and I expected, this year has been incredible, and I will forever remember all it took to get us there. Playing football at the highest level has always been my goal, and to be able to do that at the University of Alabama has been a dream come true.I am incredibly grateful to all the fans who attended. every saturday to cheer us up, my teammates who motivate me everyday to push myself and my loved ones who have supported me through all my ups and downs – all of you has made me a better player and a better person.”

Neal, a unanimously selected team in the Americas this season, is one of the most overrated attacking moves of the season. CBSSports 2022 NFL Draft Prospects Rankings and player number 6 overall. CBS Sports NFL Drafts Experts Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards think Neal will be number 1 overall ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars in latest mock draft, while Ryan Wilson let Neal go to the New York Jets with a fourth pick.

Here’s what Neal’s announcement means for his draft status as well as for Alabama’s future in the trenches.

Where Neal projects in the NFL

As mentioned above, two of CBS Sports’ NFL Draft experts think Neal will be #1 overall in their latest modes, while another has Neal in fourth – after a another ball in NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu. Odds are that those kinds of disagreements will continue because there is some uncertainty as to whether Neal has a better profile when it comes to handling left or right. Neal is the dominant right-baller for Alabama in the 2020 season and moves to the left in 2021. He has been successful in both positions, but some scouts believe he has performed better. in the right position although he has everything you want in a left tackle.

And for a prospect as great as Neal, he’s struggled this season – as has Alabama’s entire offensive line. However, he had a stellar performance in the SEC Championship against Georgia and Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl semifinals. So where he goes in the draft will depend a lot on how the teams see him and their needs. However, there is not much reason to believe that Neal will not succeed NFL player, whether to the right or to the left of the line.

Our Chris Trapasso doesn’t have many questions about Neal, write that he is “the best offensive player with the highest upside down in this class based on his size and fitness,” which is why he is predicted to be the overall No. 1 for Jacksonville. .

Alabama replaces a lot ahead

The Crimson Tide will start the 2022 season as the pre-season favorite to win the national championship for obvious reasons. Young, the Heisman Trophy winner in midfield, returned with Will Anderson on the defensive side of the ball. Jahmyr Gibbs is a returning five-star former move from Georgia Tech, and Tide will have plenty of stars in skill positions up front even with widespread star Jameson Williams also announcing his move to the NFL.

But Neal is not the only attacking striker on his way out. Chris Owens’ right save and combined attacking midfielder/finalist Kendall Randolph are both gone, and there’s a good chance Emil Ekiyor can make the leap for the NFL too. Javion Cohen and Seth McLaughlin will return, bringing stability to the line’s interior, but Alabama will need two new tackles next season.

It’s going to be one of the most watchable slot battles during spring and summer, but there are plenty to choose from. The top two players in Alabama’s 2021 recruiting class are 5-stars JC Latham and Tommy Brockermeyer, and both will be better equipped to compete for a job starting after spending a season. in the program. Also, keep an eye out for players like Damieon George, Amari Kight, and even incoming freshman Tyler Booker. Coach Nick Saban can also choose to access the transfer portal for options.

In short, Alabama has recruited well enough to be able to weather losses like these. After all, it has a lot of experience doing so. NFL draft 2022: Alabama’s Evan Neal claims, predicted No. 1 pick anchored Crimson Tide’s offensive line

Charles Jones

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