Name: Siran Neal
Position: Defensive Back
School: Jacksonville State
Neal’s physicality shows in his game and it is very noticeable and exuberant. Very rarely, does Neal miss a tackle. Neal also does a good job in shutting down routes with his hands. This physical prowess is also shown in the other ways, as seems to fight through blocks very well.
Could Neal be the next hybrid type defensive back/linebacker? Neal’s value could go up because of his history of playing at multiple spots on Jacksonville State’s defense. Early in his time at JSU, Neal was a safety and he was able to play 15 games there. In 2016, JSU decided to test him at linebacker and he came through. As a linebacker, he made eighty tackles, had one interception and four pass break ups. In 2017, Neal moved to cornerback and he was just as effective. This would be a nice thing for the Chiefs to have, as it would allow Eric Berry and Neal to possibly rotate around the defense. If Neal plays some snaps at linebacker in Kansas City, it may help to sure up the tackling on run defense. The precedent exists with smaller linebackers like Mark Barron and Deone Bucannon.
One thing that is consistent in pass coverage, is how Neal mirrors receivers and is able to play as a controlled defensive back. He seems to time most passes pretty well, and Neal led Jacksonville State in pass break ups in 2017. Neal can sometimes be beaten on routes, but he makes up for it with his speed and reading the receiver. When the ball is in the air, Neall makes slight adjustments. Neal’s hands are automatic and this is a plus, given how well is height and arm length can help him. Neal gives the Chiefs flexibility.