Everyone who loves Big Blue can’t wait to see what No. 7 overall pick Evan Neal will be able to get done with the NY Giants this season. The former Alabama standout is the expected starter at right tackle, and the thought of him and Andrew Thomas protecting Daniel Jones feels like quite the combination.
Neal will also be tasked with opening up big-time holes for star running back Saquon Barkley. Entering the new season – and leading up to training camp starting in late July – Barkley has no doubt that Neal will be able to get things done for him in the trenches. Barkley recently described his first time seeing the big-bodied hoss and he was surely all smiles.
NY Giants RB Saquon Barkley knows Evan Neal will be a star
"“Selfishly any time as a running back you (Giants) draft a guy like that, it’s going to put a smile on your face,” Barkley said. “I kind of met him – I didn’t meet him, but he was coming in for his visit or something like that. He was walking through and I was just like ‘golly, who is that? We need that guy on our team.’ Thankfully we were able to draft him, so I’m really excited for him to be on our team.”"
Barkley’s quote above shows you just how taken aback he was by Neal when he was walking through the team facility. It’s hard to see why that was the case, as Neal checks in at a massive 6-foot-7, 350 pounds. With his amazing size and great hips, Neal has all the tools to be a force going up against some of the best pass-rushers in the game.
Neal will be tasked with not only creating space for Barkley, but head coach Brian Daboll will also be counting on him to make sure Jones isn’t put on his back on a consistent basis. That wasn’t the case in 2021, as the Giants featured one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The unit was a big reason why the team went 4-13.
There’s a long list of Giants players who are hoping they can bounce back in 2022. Barkley is 100 percent at the top of that list. He looked like a totally different player last season coming off his torn ACL and not in a good way. The offensive line as a whole must step its game up to help Barkley get back to his Pro Bowl ways. The speedster will be counting on Neal to make things happen for him as well.