West Virginia Senior
40: 5.20 (estimated)
High motor player that anchors well and will eat blocks. Can use his hands to beat the center in one on one situations and use the swim move to beat block and make stop at the point of attack. Will give chase downfield and work in space at times.
Lacks range and is a virtual non-factor as a pass rusher. Doesn't have speed or burst upfield to get much penetration. Gets pushed back a bit by the double team and can engulfed at times there for similar reasons. Needs to do a better job getting off blocks to make more stops at the point of attack. Doesn't do a good job disengaging from a blocker when he's rushing the quarterback. Only seems to get sacks when the QB steps up in the pocket.
Neild is a plugger that can eat blocks and space as a 3-4 nose tackle at the next level. He played that position in West Virginia's 3-3-5 alignment. A three-year starter that combined for 130 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 1 interception during his career.
Neild is a player that for a team looking for a nose tackle that can plug the middle, hold the point, and free up linebackers he'll work. But he's not a disruptor and isn't going to be a guy that dominates a center. At first, he'll have to impress a team with his motor and toughness to stick as a reserve guy. But I think he's not a great fit to come in and stick right away as a reserve. I think the best chance of him is going to a team that is just going to keep him on the bench for a year or two as he develops before really expecting him to get a lot of playing time. So it would not surprise me if he becomes a bit of a journeyman at first bouncing around a few camps of 3-4 teams for a few summers before he permanently sticks. But probably eventually he'll stick as a reserve somewhere. I don't see him as a future starter, but he might develop into a Chris Hoke-type player eventually that is a trusted reserve, but never quite good enough to start for his team or for another team to try and steal as a starter. He can add depth to a 3-4 defense down the road, but there's nothing special about him, and unless he becomes really good reserve at plugging the middle in a Steelers-style of defense, I don't see him sticking long-term in the league. He might be able to give a team a decent four or five years, but eventually more athletic and disruptive guys will come along and take his gig.
Neild is just a practice squad candidate in Atlanta. While he can help beef up the run, the lack of penetration he gets makes him a bad fit for the Falcons scheme, which is more about attacking the line of scrimmage than holding blocks. Unless he slimmed down by dropping 20 or more pounds, he wouldn't be a candidate to be more than a practice squad player ever.
He could sneak into the latter part of the seventh round for a 3-4 team, looking for a developmental nose tackle. But he's probably more in line with undrafted talent because of the possibility he won't stick right away.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.5
Pass Rush: 1.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.