Where would Alabama football’s Evan Neal thrive in the NFL?
Evan Neal is one of the best left tackles in Alabama football history, and he could be the first player to go first in the NFL Draft since Saban took over for Alabama. He has a great size profile, but his athleticism is still off the charts thanks to the training program in Tuscaloosa.
We’re a couple of months away from finding out where he will go in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it’s safe to say that he will go in the top 5. Even if he falls, he won’t leave the top 10. This is a fair range, but what are the best landing spots for the stud?
Jacksonville Jaguars, 1st overall
Jacksonville picks first, and they need a left tackle to replace former Alabama football stud Cam Robinson. Trevor Lawrence is the future of that franchise, and he needs someone to protect his blind side for the next decade. That’s what Evan Neal can be, and it makes sense to take him over the other prospects available at the top of the draft. Neal has an incredibly high floor, and his versatility adds value for the future.
Houston Texans, 3rd overall
After drafting a left tackle last year, it would be surprising if the Lions took Evan Neal. Instead, he could slip to the Houston Texans if the Jags pass on him. Now, they already have one of the best left tackles in the NFL. However, he’s hitting his prime and is up to make some major money over the next few years. That timeline doesn’t align with what the Texans are doing, so they could easily trade him and look to reset the clock with a younger option. No matter what the Texans do at quarterback, Neal would be a great cornerstone in pass protection.
New York Jets, 4th overall and 10th overall
It appears that the Jets have already soured on Mehki Becton as a left tackle. If they want to protect Zach Wilson, adding Neal is the way to go. They’d have to do it with the fourth overall pick in all likelihood, but they could package the 10th pick with other pieces to move up if he slips past No. 5 overall.
Any team that drafts Neal will be lucky, but these three fits make the most sense when you look at the NFL Draft order.