McNeal's NFL Hopes

Scouts are out to find if the Dallas native Shawnbrey McNeal has what it takes to be an NFL halfback. With that said, it's time to look at some possible destinations for the runner.

When the junior running back announced his decision to forgo his final year of eligibility, the SMU football program lost one of its best runners in school history. Although he only played at SMU for one season following his transfer from the University of Miami, McNeal became the first 1,000 yard rusher under the lead of Head Coach June Jones, who is predominantly known for his aerial attack.

With McNeal headed off to the NFL to accomplish his lifelong goal, the scouts are out to find if the Dallas native has what it takes to be an NFL halfback. With that said, it's time to look at some possible destinations for the runner come time for the NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys
I'm sure SMU fans wouldn't mind seeing their former Mustang staying in the state of Texas. With many NFL scouts noticing the pure athleticism of McNeal, the former SMU tailback is drawing a lot of interest around the league. The Cowboys are one of those times, and have scheduled an individual workout with McNeal on April 5. Of course, this doesn't mean that Dallas is definitely considering the possibility of drafting McNeal, but it does show that the young man is beginning to climb up the board for many NFL franchises.

Now you may ask where McNeal would fit in with Dallas' already stout backfield. Consisting of the talented back Felix Jones and the power of Marion Barber, along with Tashard Choice manning the third string role, McNeal would appear to have a tough time getting playing team, if he even were to make the team. But, there is always the practice squad.

Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers were one of the first teams to show interest in McNeal after they scouted him at the NFL Combine. With Pittsburgh losing Willie Parker to Washington, Rashard Mendenhall is the current starter and the only reliable option on the roster as of now. With this in mind, the Steelers are expected to draft a running back, but no one knows if they will take a back in the first three rounds, and wait to land a gem come the later rounds.

The Steelers have already shown interest in LaGarrette Blount and Anthony Dixon, both of which are bigger backs who would compliment Mendenhall in the running game. But if the Steelers want to land another versatile back, McNeal could be that guy.

Philadelphia Eagles
After their decision to part ways with Brian Westbrook, the Eagles are left with second year back LeSean McCoy and the newly acquired Mike Bell at the halfback position. None of these guys have ever carried the load in the NFL, which is cause for concern for many in Philadelphia. With that being said, the Eagles have scheduled an individual workout with McNeal sometime in April.

The Eagles could use McNeal, especially with their style of offense. The Eagles love to incorporate their backs in the passing game, which is something that McNeal could adapt to considering that he had 31 receptions in 2009. The Eagles hold a total of ten picks in the draft, with eight of those picks falling within the third and seventh rounds, which are all possible rounds for McNeal's name to be called.

San Diego Chargers
The Chargers, like the Eagles, let go of their all-time leading rusher in LaDainian Tomlinson, and are now stuck with Darren Sproles, who has never started an entire season in the NFL. Consequently, the Chargers are hoping to land a tailback in the NFL Draft, most likely in the first round. McNeal won't be a first round pick by any means, but the Chargers could take a shot on him in the later rounds to compete with Sproles and whoever else they select in the draft for playing time.

The Chargers, if they were to land McNeal, would find no trouble in getting him the ball. Whether it be through the ground or through the passing game, McNeal could certainly get some touches in San Diego's high octane offense.

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