NEW YORK, NY (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Packers used their 2nd round selection Friday (56th overall) on Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal. Last season with the Boilermakers, Neal posted career highs in unassisted tackles (20), total tackles (35), tackles for loss (11.5) and fumbles forced (2).
Neal, who started 23 games for Purdue at defensive tackle, wrapped up his four-year career with 99 total tackles in 46 games played. The Merrillville, Ind., native recorded 26 career tackles for loss, including 13 sacks, to tie him with Gary Hrivnak (1970-72) and Landon Johnson (2000-03) for 21st on the Purdue record list.
According to the NFL.com scouting report, Neal is an average sized interior lineman that will need to play a three technique in a 4-3 defensive scheme. Neal is a tough hard-nosed lineman that gives consistent effort throughout the game. He doesn’t have elite size and is inconsistent to anchor versus double teams but can hold the point when he plays with good pad level. Neal has active hands and does a nice job to shed blockers. He is active in the tackle box showing good lateral quickness and agility but doesn’t have great range to the sideline. He can power rush effectively but needs to expand his moves and counters to contribute consistently at the next level. Neal is a good football player that has some limitations but should contribute in his rookie season and possibly work into a starting role.