Alabama Football: Sneaky big news with former Tide LT


Will Alabama football’s Evan Neal still go first overall?

We are just a few months away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and the expectation was that Alabama football‘s Evan Neal was going to be the first player taken in the draft. Jacksonville needs to prioritize protecting Trevor Lawrence, so this seemed to be a perfect fit for the Jaguars.

However, a surprising move has halted all that belief. The Jaguars franchise tagged another former Alabama football left tackle for the second straight year. Cam Robinson will remain in Jacksonville without hitting free agency, and he will make over $16 million with the Jaguars on the one-year tag.

With this level of investment, things got confusing. The Jaguars had a chance to take Neal, a proven tackle with elite size and athleticism. He would also align with the vision of the franchise as they try to build for the future with Trevor Lawrence. Now that they are committing this much money to Robinson, it’s unlikely that they will also take a left tackle first overall.

If the Jaguars don’t take Neal, they will likely take Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan. The Lions pick second overall, and they drafted a left tackle in the first round last season. Unless there is a trade, the most logical landing spot would be the Houston Texans, who are rumored to be trading their starting left tackle. This fall would equal millions of dollars lost for Neal, but team fit and landing spot matter more in the long term for his career.

The Jaguars could still take Evan Neal. They could try to trade Alabama football’s Cam Robinson, or they could use Neal as a guard for a year until they move on from Robinson. Walker Little showed some potential as a tackle last year, but they could move Little to guard and place Neal at right tackle. Neal has versatility, but it remains unlikely that he goes first overall due to this signing.

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This news wasn’t as big as the quarterback trades happening across the NFL, but it will definitely impact the 2022 NFL Draft.