5 NY Giants who didn’t live up to expectations in 2022
By Reese Nasser
3. OL Evan Neal
When you are selected with the No. 7 overall selection in the NFL Draft, expectations will be sky high from Day 1. This was the case for former Alabama tackle Evan Neal. Upon his arrival to the NFL, Neal was expected to be a force for Big Blue. While he showed flashes of this talent during his rookie season, he ultimately struggled to deliver in a way that many hoped he would.
Neal finished his rookie year posting a PFF offensive grade of 44.0. Along with this, he allowed seven sacks, while also being called for seven penalties. These numbers do not tell the whole story. For much of his rookie season, Neal played through several injuries. This included a sprained MCL, which impacted his play on the field.
While he struggled in his debut campaign, it is still far too early to label Neal as a bust, which many have already started to do. His rookie season was hardly different from that of his teammate Andrew Thomas, who has now become one of the best left tackles in the NFL.
Given time, Neal should find his footing in the league. And when this does happen, the Giants could potentially send out one of the most dominant tackle pairings in the NFL. The future remains bright for the former first-round pick.