Connor Neighbors lacks ideal foot speed, though he shows a decent burst getting into the line. He appears to run with stiff hips and shows upper torso tightness, making him a bit of a liability outside of dump-offs as a route runner out of the backfield. He demonstrates good balance through the hole and keeps his feet churning to widen and sustain the rush lane. He does a nice job of ping-ponging defenders out of his way, but must be more consistent using his hands. He does not have problems locating targets when on the move, though.
Neighbors has good short area suddenness into the hole to gain advantage, but his feet will tend to die when having to travel long distances. He comes out of his stance with good urgency and a low pad level, looking like a heat seeking missile ready to destroy any defender in his path.
Neighbors lacks instincts and vision as a runner, as you don’t see enough acceleration to get past the line of scrimmage. He just seems to be hesitant in finding the seam. He does not have the loose hips to change direction and while he is a bruiser of a blocker, you don’t see the same aggression with the ball in his hands.
However, in limited opportunities as a pass catcher, the Tiger might not be light on his feet getting out into the flats, but he does show a functional burst and seems to easily extend for the ball, rarely letting it into his body, but rather reaching quickly to catch away from his frame. He does a nice job twisting his torso to adjust to off-target throws. He has good hip flexibility and when used on middle screens, flat or wheel routes, he fights hard for extra yardage.
Neighbors is a punishing inside lead blocker who loves to hit. He lacks any sort of running skills, which will limit how a team will use him, as most now regard the classic fullback as an endangered species. He is a physical finisher blocking in-line and when he strikes, he does so with teeth-rattling jolts. He uses his hands well to mirror in pass protection and keeps his head on a swivel to combo block with tackles when sealing off the edge.
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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