The last two years, NFL teams have been spoiled with impact offensive tackle talent at the top of the draft. Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills Jr. were tremendous for their teams as rookies and the 2021 NFL Draft class also shows a ton of promise. While it will not be easy for this next draft class to match up, the 2022 NFL Draft class also shows a ton of promise at the offensive tackle position.
The guy who will likely be leading the way throughout the 2022 NFL Draft process is Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal. Neal was an easy five-star prospect coming out of high school in 2019 and was the top offensive tackle, according to 247sports.
Neal stepped in as an immediate starter for the Crimson Tide as a true freshman, shining at the left guard position. He moved to his more natural right tackle position this past season and consistently dominated up front. Neal showed impressive ability at both left guard and right tackle, and will now likely move over to left tackle for his junior season, replacing first-round pick Alex Leatherwood.
Neal is listed at 6-foot-7, 360 pounds by Alabama and looks just as massive as that listed size. His size and power up front consistently stand out, as does his obvious length, which is incredibly important for an offensive tackle. Neal understands how to use his length well in pass protection and is simply a difficult player for any edge defender to get around.
His size alone makes Evan Neal a weapon on the offensive line, but there is much more to his game than that. Neal moves extremely well for such a big player, showing the ability to vertically pass set and reach the second level in the run. Based on talent alone, Evan Neal has a chance to be special.
I am extremely excited to dig more into Neal’s game and evaluate him as a 2022 NFL Draft prospect. Based on the early evaluations, there is a ton to like about his game.