Keanu Neal Soars in Atlanta with Pick 17

Safety Keanu Neal was one of the highest risers in terms of draft status since the end of the 2015 season. All of the hype came to fruition when he was picked by the Atlanta Falcons with pick #17 of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Keanu Neal


Round 1, Pick 17

Team: Atlanta Falcons


Bio Info

South Sumter (Bushnell, FL)
4.93 40
32 53/4-inch arm length
10 5/8-inch hands
17 reps on bench press


Scout Pre-Draft Rankings
Four-star prospect
No. 14 safety in the draft
No. 142 overall prospect


Florida  Career:

Neal has a nose for the ball. He loves to play in traffic when asked to do and he just runs and get the ball when it moves. He’s tough and he’s intelligent a guy that was a true leader for his team.  He was relegated to a backup role as a freshman but started 21 games in his \sophomore and junior seasons. He finished with 96 tackles in 2015 and that was after missing the first two games due to injury and playing slightly injured most of the year. He had five pass break ups and four interceptions in his last two seasons as a guy that mainly played in the box.

Expert Breakdown:  “Neal started the year off with a hamstring issue that slowed him down and caused some uneven tape at times, but his size, athleticism and hitting are the best in this draft. Neal isn't limited to simple box tasks even though he thrives there. He has all the makings of an early starter and may hear his name called earlier than some might project.” – Lance Zierlein (


Neal: “I’m pretty tall, I have long arms, I have big hands and can catch the ball. I can move well. I am versatile. Everyone sees me as a big hitter, but I can cover.”


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