Evan Neal skipping workouts at NFL Scouting Combine and that’s alright

Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73). Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73). Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal is a favorite to be the first player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft and his decision to skip the workout section of the NFL Scouting Combine shouldn’t be a cause for concern for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Neal won’t participate in on-field drills at the combine but he will partake in interviews. The offensive tackle will wait until his Pro Day and will take a few extra weeks to prepare.

Neal is making a business decision and it shouldn’t affect his chances of being the top pick in the draft. If he were a mid or late-round prospect looking to raise his stock, he would benefit from working out at the combine but that’s not the case. The Jaguars could go to his Pro Day and/or schedule an individual meeting with him in the upcoming weeks. On the other hand, South Carolina offensive tackle, a darkhorse candidate to go No. 1, will work out in front of NFL scouts and will try to make his case to the Jags and other teams.

The Jaguars can’t go wrong with Evan Neal at No. 1 in the NFL Draft.

The Jaguars will try to gather as much information as they can ahead of the draft, and they will try to get any piece of intel they can on their hands to make sure they make the correct choice with the top pick in the draft, and who can blame them? They haven’t been very good at drafting in the first round over the last ten years and they need to get this one right if they want to leave the cellar of the NFL.

The first overall pick could come to Evan Neal, Aidan Hutchinson, and Kayvon Thibodeaux. It will be up to the Jaguars who can help them the most but Neal could be the safest choice of the three. He’s the top-ranked prospect in most draft boards and would give Jacksonville’s offensive line a boost regardless of where he plays. That’s the thing too, Neal previously lined up at left guard, left tackle, and right tackle, which would give the Jags the flexibility to plug him wherever they think he can help them the most.

The other side of the coin is that Hutchinson or Thibodeaux would be of immense help for the Jaguars’ defense. They need to bolster their front seven and get a bookend pass rusher opposite outside linebacker Josh Allen.

The Jaguars have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence but he alone can’t get them to the playoffs It’s up to the front office to keep building blocks this offseason and if they think Evan Neal can be part of their long-term future, his decision to skip the workouts at the scouting combine shouldn’t be an issue.

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