However, plays with a good motor, works hard to fight his way off blocks and displays impressive range and closing speed for a guy his size. Does a nice job extending his arms into opposing linemen, though, sitting into his stance and playing off blocks 1v1. Isn’t a real explosive pass rusher off the snap. Has a tendency to stand too upright off the ball and doesn’t get into opposing linemen quickly inside. Isn’t a guy who can threaten gaps off the line, struggles to disengage laterally and will come off the field in obvious passing situations.
Impression: Can anchor with some effectiveness one-on-one and looks better suited to play as a nose in a 4-3 defense. But, isn’t overly impressive as a run defender and doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher. More of a camp body who can only play two downs as an interior plugger."
Positive: Strong, hard-working defensive tackle who is very tough to move off the point. Possesses good first-step quickness, gets leverage on opponents, and holds the point. Quickly gets his hands up, fights hard on every down, and quick to locate the ball. Adequate change-of-direction skills with the ability to make plays down the line.
Negative: Plays stiff on occasion. Not a sure-handed wrap-up tackler. Struggles getting off blocks and can be handled by a single opponent.
Analysis: Neild is a workmanlike defensive line prospect who can be used on the inside of a four-man line while also getting looks at nose tackle. He lacks great upside but is a prospect who uses all his assets to a maximum and should be more than competent at the next level."
Negatives: Not a pass rusher... Not real explosive... Slow foot speed... Shorter than ideal arms... Plays a little too upright at times and can be knocked off balance... On the ground too much... Marginal balance... Lacks good lateral mobility... Plays too upright... Lacks ideal range... Not a playmaker... More of a two-down run stuffer, is not on the field in passing situations... Frame is maxed out."
Weaknesses: Short, with stumpy trunk and arms. Lacks lateral agility, and versatility, and can only be used as a backup NT. Can be steered by big OGs with longer arms. Lacks size potential. Maxed out.
Projection: 7th rounder, who may be over-drafted because of his Senior Bowl appearance."
It has taken a while, but over the last two years -- when Neild has been named to a variety of all-conference teams -- he has finally gotten the credit he deserves. After redshirting in 2006 and primarily being a backup in 2007, Neild stepped into a starting role in 2008 and has not looked back. It was during his sophomore season when Neild did put up some good tackling numbers, ranking first among the defensive lineman with 47 total tackles. He also added 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks.
In 2009 Neild started setting up the rest of the line, especially since he was starting to get more attention from the opposing offensive linemen. He only registered 35 tackles and 2.0 tackles-for-loss, but Neild cemented his status as one of the Big East's best defensive lineman. The story has been more of the same during Neild's senior campaign. Through the regular season Neild has 31 tackles, 4.0 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 sacks.
Neild is just starting to show up on most NFL draft boards. He is a late round selection at best right now, but there is plenty of room for him to move up once teams analyze a little more tape and see him without his pads on. If Neild can have some solid workouts between now and April, do not be surprised if he keeps sneaking up the draft boards and he ends up being taken in the fourth of fifth round."
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