The Atlanta Falcons select Florida S Keanu Neal with the No. 17 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was in Seattle for the rise of Kam Chancellor, and Neal fits the profile to a degree. At 6′ 0″ and 211 pounds, he’s a feared hitter who needs development on coverage. Now, Quinn saw Chancellor become a great cover guy over time, but putting the 17th overall pick on a guy who’s best in the box and limited everywhere else is a questionable strategy. I’d be surprised if half the teams in the NFL didn’t have him in the second round.
Strengths: Think of him as Karl Joseph light. Neal brings the same mentality to the field, namely that he wants to clobber anyone with the ball. He is a plus athlete whose best plays come when he has a clear path to a receiver or running back, allowing him to plant and explode into a bone-crunching tackle.
Weaknesses: Reckless-abandon approach can lead to taking brutal angles. Vulnerable on the deep ball.