Sunday, June 26, 2022

Giants could get No. 1 overall caliber player in tackle Ivan Neal

Max Starks believes the Giants got the No. 1 player in the 2022 NFL Draft with the No. 7 pick.

“Evan Neal was my No. 1 prospect in the draft, and I was surprised that Jacksonville didn’t take him,” the 40-year-old Starks in the two-time Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers tackle told the Daily News. “Every team in the NFL now is built from the outside—from wide receivers to offensive tackles to quarterbacks—and you build into it.

“So I was surprised that Jacksonville didn’t take him,” Stark, an NFL analyst for the Steelers, ESPN and Sirius XM, called the draft. “Obviously Ickey Ekwonu Gone [to Carolina] Pick up first But for the Giants, I think they’ve got the best. ,

NFL analyst Brian Baldinger said that Neil’s 6-7,351-pound size alone was a rare trait, even when he first showed up in Alabama as a freshman.

“I was talking to Patrick Sureten about that and asked, ‘What do you remember about Evan Neill coming to Tuscaloosa? He said, ‘Baldy, man, that’s the biggest elephant ever,'” said Baldinger. , who played 11 seasons on the O-Line for the Cowboys, Colts and Eagles.

Baldinger, 62, said, “He came in massive at age 18 with a great pro body, then played left guard, right tackle and left tackle.” “I respect him.”

A former Super Bowl winner with the Steelers, Willie Colon played both guard and tackle during his career. And he said Neil’s natural in his shape flipping the tackle from right to left was impressive.

“It’s more than his talent and his coaching, the fact that at his size, he can make him comfortable playing guard or tackle left,” Colon said at his charity golf outing in Summit, NJ. Because I think it is very difficult to go from right tackle to left tackle. Inside you can be shielded from the center or anything. But to go right tackle, left tackle, it just shows goddamn, kid has a lot of talent. ,

Let’s face it: The Giants’ offensive line has been an annual problem for a very long time. A player who imposes this is long overdue.

“The Giants have been plagued by bad o-line play for some time,” said Colon. “You’ve got to start getting some players who can bowl, who you think can be a part of your organization for the next 5, 6 years. And the fact that he’s 6-7, 350. His Athleticism is through the roof. And he’s played at an elite level for a long time against some big-time competitors in college.”

Neil, 21, played 13 games on left guard for Crimson Tide in 2019, 12 games on right tackle in 2020 and 15 on left tackle in Nick Saban’s last year.

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The Giants started him on the right tackle, with 2020 No. 4, picking Andrew Thomas on the left.

Thursday’s OTA practice saw the first team O-Line see free agent signing Mark Glowinsky on right guard, free agent signing John Feliciano at center, Shane Lemieux on left guard and Corey Cunningham on left tackle (With Thomas recovering from surgery on his left ankle).

Neil said it was good to get back to his right stance on the field during practice, as he has been playing there for over a year.

“Bringing back some really good old memories,” he said with a smile.

Expectations will be high for Neil right out of the gate. Legendary offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said that one of Neil’s defining qualities is that “he wants to be really good. And the more you talk to him, you find out that it’s not lip service. It’s real. is.”

“Evan puts a lot of pressure on himself,” Johnson said. “He was ranked in the top 10 and he came to New York City. That’s just enough pressure to crush a player… Right now he has one key to me saying, ‘Hey, my job is to train you. If If you need some pressure, let me do it.'”

Quarterback Daniel Jones was naturally “excited” to see the Giants draft bookend tackles and also commented on Neil’s drive to improve.

“Evan looks great so far, and you can tell he really wants to learn it. He wants to pick it up,” Jones said. “It’s important to him. He’s working hard.”

While Neil is calm and understanding, he also has a bad side which he leaves on the field. So, although he digs into his early off-season learning, he prefers to practice in the pads.

“We hit a whole lot in Alabama, so I think Coach Saban made me do that,” he said with a laugh. “There’s a time and place for everything, but right now I’m just trying to get the fundamentals down and get better.”

Baldinger said that Neil’s coming out of Saban’s throat so durable is no small matter.

“I have respect for the guy who played and played 41 straight games in that conference,” Baldinger said. “First you’re getting beaten up by Nick every day in practice. Then you’re going against the best of the country every Saturday and you’re stuck. And you’ve done it for three years in a row. I think it’s the last.” The warrior is the test.”

Technically, Baldinger said that Neil “doesn’t look like he has some Andrew’s issues”. [Thomas] Coming out of Georgia. ,

“He bragged [Thomas’] athletic ability,” Baldinger said. “It’s because his feet were never in the ground. Once he set foot on the ground he became a better player. Evan Neal’s feet look like they’re in the ground to me.”

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Despite his enormous size, Baldinger said he believes Neil is more than capable of getting his legs out on a stretch run in Brian Dabol’s offense.

“Dion Dawkins did this in Buffalo,” Baldinger said. “Nobody thought he could play tackle in the NFL, now he’s started [five] Straight years for buffalo. I feel [Neal] He can do everything well. You’re not going to go to Alabama and not be able to run.”

Although the Giants plan to play Thomas on the left and Neil on the right, Starks said that Neil’s versatility also makes him a better fit for the Giants, as Ekwonu would have been out of NC State – if Thomas were to suffer an injury. Is or is not with the team one day.

“I felt he was the most versatile, while the ace is more of a true perfect tackle, maybe playing some guard for you,” Starks said. “He doesn’t yet have the ability, I don’t think, to play left tackle – whereas Evan Neal is a plug and play starter in whatever position you want to keep him.”

Baldinger said that the film shows that Neil is “a waist bender, not a knee bender”, as evidenced by his ability to play guard. “So he’s not going to be over the way Andrew Thomas did a lot in his rookie year.”

He said that first and foremost, Neil is “huge, just huge.” He has a wide body,” he said. “It’s hard to go around. It’s hard to pass by. I can get plays where he’s out of balance, the guy shakes him a little, they’re a little slow to recover. But those guys have that.” There’s a way to turn everything into a wrestling match when it happens. And that’s what you have to do.”

Baldinger also said that playing with Glowinsky would be important. He compared Eagles right tackle Len Johnson’s first team All-Pro 2017 season with Brandon Brooks to Johnson’s other years when Brooks was injured or unavailable.

“You’re only going to be as strong as the guard next to you,” Baldinger said.

Giants GM Joe Schoen admitted that 8% of the NFL had medical problems with Neil. SI.com reported it to be related to Neil’s knee and hip. But the Giants’ doctor was “all right,” and Neil’s permanence in the SEC reinforced his conclusions.

So they drafted him, and in Neil’s words, “my dreams came true.”

Now he is out to prove his faith in them.

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Nation World News Desk
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