Keanu Neal is already regarded among his NFL peers as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league. One has to wonder, though, as to how the new helmet contact rule will affect the physicality of players like Neal. He makes a living intimidating anyone who dares to try to make receiving yards across the middle of the field. This is especially important as more and more NFL teams deploy short passing schemes as running plays to attack the perimeter on short yardage plays. Keanu also puts pressure on the run game when he lines up as an in the box safety to take pressure off of their corners in run defense. But laying the wood on his opponents is not the only trait that Neal brings to the table.
Neal is an explosive downhill run stopper along with being a vicious hitter looking to bruise bones. His aggressive play also helps him play well in coverage. He doesn’t usually get lulled out of position and gets on top of receivers immediately after the catch. Neal recorded 113 tackles with three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one interception last year. Also, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl last year as an alternate. He recorded his first career interception in a Week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers.